“Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. ‘Dear woman, why are you crying?’ the angels asked her. ‘Because they have taken away my Lord,’ she replied, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. ‘Dear woman, why are you crying?’ Jesus asked her. ‘Who are you looking for?’ She thought he was the gardener. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’ ‘Mary!’ Jesus said.She turned to him and cried out, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is Hebrew for ‘Teacher’).” (John 20:11-16)
It was early and very dark when Mary got up on Sunday morning. She, most likely, only had brief periods of fitful sleep between her thoughts of despair and fear. Jesus was dead. How could that be true?
She gathered up what she needed to anoint and pay respect to the body of Jesus. Mary had no idea how she would get the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb but all she wanted to do was to go and honor him.
When Mary arrived, the stone was already rolled away. She quickly ran and told Peter and the other disciples what she had found. Then everyone ran to the tomb. Jesus’ body was gone. The only thing left were the strips of linen. The disciples left and went back to their homes but Mary remained.
Her heart must have been broken. I can picture her, sinking to the ground in pure grief. Jesus, the one who had saved her life by casting out 7 demons, was dead and now his body was gone. When she had no more tears left to cry, she got up, shook the dust off of her clothes and peeked inside the tomb. She saw angels where Jesus’ body should have been and they asked her why she was crying. She answered and then when she turned around there was a man who asked her the same question. Thinking that the man was the gardener she begged him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him.”
Then the man only had to say one word to her, “Mary.” She stopped suddenly; she knew that voice. Then she looked, really looked, and she saw Jesus! Jesus her teacher and Jesus her Savior!
Mary of Magdela was a true follower of Jesus. He had literally saved her from a life of demon possession. Not only was he her Savior but he was also her teacher, her ‘Rabboni.’ Nothing changed her faith in Jesus – not even his death. I, like Mary, need to have that same kind of faith in Jesus Christ. He is my Savior too!
There will be many times when life will challenge my faith in Jesus. When that happens, I need to take time to remember what he has already done in my life and how he has helped and saved me. Then, I will listen and really hear what Jesus is saying to me, through his word and in prayer. And I am going to try and not forget to always look, really look, to Jesus!
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.