Sabbath was over and the women just had one thing on their minds, to prepare Jesus’ body for a proper burial. They left quietly as the men had finally fallen asleep after hours of discussion, debate and devastating sadness over the loss of their leader and friend. The women were also mourning but right now they had to set their grief aside for this important task.
Chapter 20 of John’s gospel portrays Mary Magdalene’s experience that morning. Mary had gone to the tomb before dawn expecting to contend with a stone at the entrance. Her first surprise was to find the stone moved and the tomb opened. She rushed back to tell Peter and John who returned with her to the tomb. John tells us when he and Peter saw the grave cloths laying inside the empty tomb they remembered Jesus’ words, believed He had risen, and returned to their homes.
Mary stayed at the tomb, weeping. She stooped to look inside and saw two angels. This was more unexpected than the open tomb! The angels questioned why Mary was weeping. As she replied that someone had taken Jesus, her Lord and she didn’t know where He was, she turned and there stood Jesus. Mary didn’t realize it was Him until Jesus spoke her name. Her fear and sadness turned to joy at the sight of her risen Lord. Mary ran to tell the disciples – I have seen Jesus!
Most of us can relate to the emotion Mary Magdalene experienced that morning. Sometimes we can’t see the truth of what’s in front of us for all the feelings inside of us. The confusion and uncertainty we are experiencing clouds our senses to the unexpected answers God has put in front of us.
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today I ask you a simple question. Have you seen Jesus? Can you see His love and grace around you, or are your emotions and sadness clouding your vision? Jesus understands our sadness. He recognizes our disappointment at not celebrating as we would like and being separated from family and friends. He also stands waiting for us to see through our circumstances to experience Him in unexpected ways. When you pour out your emotions to Jesus with an open heart, asking Him to reveal Himself in a new way, He will. He is waiting to speak His love to your heart and bring joy to your sadness.
My friends, I hope you take some time to see Jesus today, and just as Mary did that resurrection morning, share Him with others. Through prayer, a card in the mail, an e-mail note, or a phone call, or any creative way, don’t allow this day to pass without helping others experience the joy you share with Mary as she ran to tell others – I’ve seen Jesus, and I’ll never be the same again!!
Blessings and peace to you!