John 20:14-17, 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”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
In the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke we read that after the crucifixion of Christ. At the third day before dawn three women, mother Mary, Mary Magdalene and Susanna went to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus with oils. In John 20:1 onwards, we read that Mary Magdalene reached the tomb while it was still dark. According to the customs of the Jews, after the death and burial of a person, they come and prepare the body with perfumed oils. There was huge danger/challenge before the ladies who were going to the tomb of Jesus. They were all alone in the presence of Roman guards, and there was a huge stone which covered the mouth of the tomb. Matthew 28:7, Luke 24:5 , we can read them discussing as to who would help them roll away the huge stone.
Yet when they reached the tomb, they found that the stone was rolled away to one side of the tomb. While they were in distress and despair, disheartened over not finding Jesus. they saw two men dressed in white sparkling clothes who told them that Jesus had risen. they ran and told the Good News to the disciples. They ran to the tomb and seeing that what the women had said was true returned to their room. Mary Magdalene kept crying in despair at the tomb. When the disciples huddled up inside a room in hiding, why did Mary Magdalene stay behind in tears??? Let us think….
1.Strong determination and focus: Mary had gone to the tomb to follow the customs and put oils on the body of Jesus. But her desire did not happen as the body of Jesus was not there. The happenings of Friday ran like a scene in her mind while she was going to the tomb. Her Teacher(Jesus) was the only person who loved and accepted her unconditionally. She sat crying broken hearted at the tomb like a child who had lost her father. She experienced being orphaned by all, an isolation and loneliness so painful it cannot be put to words. She sat down with a firm determination that even though she didn’t know what happened to the body of Jesus. She would not return without getting to the roots of what had happened. The strong desire of her heart rooted her feet to the place of burial. Knowing the inner workings of the heart, Lord Jesus Christ appeared before her. She was the first person to have the blessing of seeing Him first after resurrection. John 20:16, 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
2. Valued Jesus more than her own life: Mary Magdalene did not fear or deter seeing the Roman guards. Even after seeing the empty tomb and other leaving, she did not leave the tomb. She stood her ground that she would look for the body of Jesus and on finding it, she would take it away. John 20:13-15, 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.”
Today believers all over the world are willing to shed tears while remembering the persecution and crucifixion of Christ. Yet no one is willing to spare time to think that the Saviour was wounded from the soles of his feet to His head for our sins. Neither do we ponder over our sins and shed tears asking for forgiveness or in repentance. Mary stood their before the tomb because her sins were forgiven. Let us cry asking for mercy to forgives us our sins. This would help rescue our souls.
3. Mary found Jesus and is entrusted with a task: The Lord was powerful enough to come out of a closed tomb. the tomb being open and the presence of the two angels was for the world to believe in the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. Lazarus was in a tomb for four days after death. He came out of his tomb on just one call by Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing which is impossible in the eyes of the Christ. The Saviour calls Mary by her name. She immediately recognized the voice and responds, ‘Teacher‘. The Lord has said that people would recognize my voice. How true are His words!!!
Psalms 34:18, 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Lord entrusted Mary with a task for her sincerity. John 20:17, 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” In this way Mary Magdalene also became an evangelist.
Let us ask ourselves a question: In between the rat race/ hectic life, how much time do we spend in the presence of the Lord with a broken heart and spirit asking for His strength. Mary recognized the voice of Jesus in just one call. Similarly, Lord Jesus is calling each one of us by our names. Can we hear and recognize His voice in the never ending noise pollution that surrounds us??? Is it possible for you and me to proclaim that He laid life for me and you on the cross for our transgressions, and that He resurrected from he dead on the third day???If not then our faith is a failure, it is on vain.
1 Corinthians 15:17, 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.