Easter Sunday – What Mary saw and heard!
John 20 v 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.
She is not alone, the other Gospels help us with that; she is with Mary the mother of James, Salome, Joanna and the other Mary. In a society where women did not count it is amazing how God orchestrates the women to be the first on the scene to witness the resurrection of Jesus.
Her life on earth had been hell before she met Jesus. She had 7 areas of dysfunction in her life. Seven major areas of weakness and of pain and torture. Her life was characterised by these plagues. Then she met Jesus. He gave her a new personality. He restored her and made her whole.
When you have been forgiven much you love much.
No wonder she loved him. Oh how she loved him. This love was not sentimentalism or emotionalism. She owed her all to Jesus.
The first day of the week. God’s new week. It was still dark but the darkness was fading, the sun was rising and the Son was alive.
v2 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!”
Mary jumps to conclusions. We don’t know who she is referring to, who ‘they’ were. Was she referring to the enemies of Jesus? Having murdered him they are playing some sick joke in stealing his body? Was it Joseph and Nicodemus, this was a temporary tomb anyway, have they re-sited his body to a more permanent place? The conclusion she didn’t jump to was that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They would see Jesus at the resurrection (the end-time Last Day) but not now. This is why John makes sure his gospel reveals a risen Lord and that the resurrection was to man before God the Father (v17 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.’”)
John (we presume) had looked inside the tomb and Peter had gone inside. But everyone has gone back home and Mary is left. Look what happens.
V11-15 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 that 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.”
Where had the angels appeared from? Or were they there in the tomb but Peter and John had failed to see them?
Your tears of brokenness can give you an ability to see what others are seeing. Angels seen through tears of loss. ‘They have taken’. ‘I have lost everything, my life, my all.’ Spoken to angels that the others couldn’t see.
Your tears of brokenness can lead to you being quite irrational. There was no way Mary could get the body on her own.
Your tears of brokenness can lead you to revelation. We can focus on the fact that she didn’t see Jesus but what she thought was the gardener. That is true. But it was an amazing revelation also. “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener” and here stands the One who will bring life to a garden of confusion, hurt and sin. She saw correctly in a wonderful way.
v16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
Powerful, deeply moving and it starts by Jesus calling her name.
He called my name and I ran out of that grave.!
It happened to Lazarus and it happened to Mary!
He is Risen!
v18 “Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”
Mary, the one who was the most broken of all women became the first witness of the resurrection. You may think you have nothing. You may feel disqualified from many things. However in your devotion to Jesus you heard your name!