Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
A story, from Mary Magdalene’s viewpoint, of discovering that Jesus has risen from the dead!
Sadness Turns to Joy!
Towards Jesus’ Tomb
With heaviness and apprehension, we walk in silence towards Jesus’ tomb, carrying the spices we carefully prepared earlier, to anoint his body. We long to carry out this final act of love and devotion for Jesus, but dread looking on his horribly mangled body again. Seeing him will be extremely harrowing, and the grief is already so difficult to bear.
We are concerned: who will move the huge stone that was put in front of his tomb?
As the tomb comes into view, we notice, with shock, that the stone has been rolled away. What’s happened? Running to the tomb, we anxiously look inside, and are startled by two men in shining white standing there.
Where is Jesus?
Jesus body is nowhere to be seen!
Terrified, we fall to the ground. The men speak to us: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you that He would be turned over to sinful men, be crucified, and rise again on the third day!”
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Matt 20:17-19
I do remember Jesus speaking these words, but, numbed with the trauma of the last few days, I’m confused and shaken, and unable to comprehend what’s being said. Bewildered, I see my companions, who are laughing with joy, rushing out of the tomb. I slowly follow them, and watch with disbelief as they run towards our home.
Tears roll down my cheeks. I don’t understand. Where is Jesus? What’s happened to his body? Why are my friends so happy, and why have they left?
Encounter with Jesus
Weeping and distraught, I hear a man’s voice behind me saying, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
“Oh, the gardener….maybe he knows something,” I think.
I turn towards him, my head bowed with sorrow, and with a trembling voice I ask him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
He’s speaking my name!
I know that voice! It’s Jesus! I look up and see him: it IS Jesus!
My tears of grief turn to joy, and running towards him, I fall to the ground and cling to his ankles. “Rabboni!” I cry out excitedly!
Jesus answers me, saying, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
My heart is bursting with joy, and I look into his smiling face. He is radiant, and there are no wounds, no blood…though I can’t help noticing the holes in his hands as he reaches down and lifts me from the ground.
I smile and laugh, and leaving Jesus, I hurry towards the disciples lodgings, almost running on air, intoxicated with excitement and amazement!
Knocking on the door and charging in, feeling ecstatic and almost delirious, I barely get the words out of my mouth. The disciples look at me in disbelief.
“She’s hallucinating!” One of them says.
“The grief has made her mad!” Says another.
“Mary, you need to go home and rest.”
With sorrow, I realise that they don’t believe me.
“But it’s true,” I cry, “I saw him. He’s alive!”
I’m gently led to the door, which is firmly shut behind me. Filled with disappointment, I am saddened by the disciples’ disbelief.
Then I remember… I saw him! I saw Jesus, and he spoke to me! He spoke my name!
My joy returns and, elated, I walk towards my home!
Jesus died for you, and rose again, that you may have eternal life in Him. If you don’t know Jesus, please read this.