HOPE IN OUR WORLD
Read: John 20:1-16
1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. “
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). (NIV John 20:1-16)
Study: Even when they found Jesus’ tomb in the garden empty, Mary (and then two of the male disciples) were troubled, not excited. The men left, but Mary stayed, weeping. John said she thought the man asking who she was looking for was “the gardener.” In symbol, he was. Adam failed in the first garden, but Jesus would tend earth’s “garden” well (cf. Romans 5:15-21). Mary didn’t recognize Jesus’ voice at first. But apparently the way he said her name was unmistakable. Mary went to the tomb “while it was still dark.” She clearly didn’t expect to find Jesus alive, but in love and devotion she was eager to care for his body as soon as possible. (The Jewish laws Jesus had challenged forbade that on the Sabbath.) How can you nurture a desire to go to Jesus, even in times of despair and darkness? What practices and choices can build you a “first name” relationship with Jesus, a link between your heart and his?
Pray: Lord Jesus, if my attention strays and I don’t recognize you, please call me by name and draw me again into a saving connection with you as my risen Savior. Amen.