Jesus told his disciples on three different occasions that he was going to be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Like we all tend to do, the disciples never really seemed to hear the second part of what Jesus was saying, though. They automatically focused on the bad part, that Jesus would be killed. His disciples would always become filled with grief upon hearing this. I imagine because today is the day between Jesus’ death and resurrection, his disciples at the time must have felt that all was lost on this day. But now, we know otherwise.
Because Easter is tomorrow, I would like to share one of the few scriptures that always gives me chills whenever I read it. Mind you, these are the good kind of chills. It is during the time that Jesus was first discovered to be resurrected from the dead when it was realized his tomb was empty and Mary was standing by it in John 20.
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 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." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize it was Jesus. 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." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (Which means "Teacher"). (Verses 11-16).
Now, I imagine there were many reasons as to why Mary did not recognize Jesus at first, but I feel that maybe it was because she was too filled with grief and was not expecting to see Jesus. “Why are you crying?” I probably would have asked that too! Jesus warned he would rise again. But sometimes, in our lives, we can only see or hear the bad in a situation. To Mary, Jesus was gone, His body vanished, someone took it. She was even willing to go get his body back. But then Jesus called her name. That always gets me.
He is calling you too.
Our lives do not have to be filled with darkness, sin, and death. When Jesus called Mary’s name, she recognized him as her Lord and “Teacher”. Jesus is calling you too, he is that light piercing the darkness all around you, wanting you to come into that light. Every Easter (and when I read this passage) I pray that more and more will recognize him when he calls, stepping out of darkness and into his light. To regard him as Lord. To be filled with his love. I am pretty sure that Mary was flooded with love upon recognizing him. I know I was.
Tomorrow, promise me that you will have a beautiful Easter and that you reflect on just what Jesus’ resurrection means. Pray for those who have not yet recognized him calling them. And praise him for what he’s done in your life when he called you! Also, like Mary, share the news: Jesus has risen from the dead! Maybe more will rise up from the grave as well, recognizing him as Lord, Savior, Teacher, and Friend.
Have a Happy Easter guys!