Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mark 16:9-11 (Luke 8:1-3; John 20:18)

“Mary.” The years of darkness melted as the Master spoke to a girl trapped in the darkness of demonic bondage. The sound of His voice had shone rays of hope into her miserable life. Seven devils. Luke 8 tells us there were seven of them, and Mary Magdalene was their captive, until Jesus came along. This was the brightest day of her life. With a twinkle of hope in her eyes, she followed Him religiously. Wherever He and His disciples would go, she would be close behind. He had given her a new life, and all she knew was that she wanted to give back that life to Him.
Months later, she had followed Him back to Jerusalem, and the events of His crucifixion had unfolded like a horrid nightmare before her very eyes. With every blow and curse, the deepest part of her soul grimaced. And as He trudged His exhausted journey to the hill of execution, her eyes poured out streams of bitter sorrow.
The darkness had not yet lifted on that early Sunday morning, according to John 20, as Mary came to anoint the body of Jesus. She loved Him so much, and had brought the purest offering of thanksgiving for the One Who had cared so much in the hour of her need. Even in His death, she would be faithful to Him. Her eyes were still swollen from days of crying as she approached the tomb where Jesus had been placed.
Looking at the tomb, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Gone. The massive stone that had been rolled in front of the tomb had been removed. The tomb was wide open. The guards that had stood in place were no longer there. The entire place was vacant.
Horrified, she left the garden tomb, and returned to Peter and John. “They have taken His body!” Her broken-hearted distress revealed even to them that the events of this dark weekend were too much for this poor woman to handle. Her desperation turned to a shattered fountain of frustration, “How will we ever give Him the love that He deserved. They killed Him and now they have robbed us of even this! How will we ever find His body?”
After delivering this news, the devastated Mary returned to the empty tomb to weep and reflect on the missing body of Jesus. The One Who had offered hope and had given her liberty, where was He? If she could just see His face one last time. If she could just hear His tender voice one last time. But, no, they had taken Him. Now she knelt on the ground in front of the tomb as the tears of sorrow flowed once again.
“Mary.”
That’s all it took. The darkness of the morning lifted. The rays of hope for her eternity shone with a renewed brightness as she beheld the face of the One she loved so much and heard His reassuring voice. He had not gone. They had not taken Him. He was risen.
This day would now be the brightest day of her life.

Food For Thought: Read John 20:11-18. What was the first thing that Mary did after seeing the resurrected Jesus? According to Mark 16:11, what was the disciples’ reaction? Do you think that Mary cared what they thought?