What a beautiful winter morning! Cold, breezy, clear, blue skies and high, white puffy clouds. Gorgeous! It fills me with delight just to look out the window. But then, I was already filled this morning.
I just have to share this. If I don’t share it I will burst. My Bible reading this morning led me to John 20. This is an account of the morning following the Sabbath when Christ’s faithful were returning to finish the burial process they had started on Sabbath-eve.
As I read those scriptures they came alive before me. I could see Mary Magdalene as she went to the tomb. I could see her there (and still see her), when she got to the tomb and found the stone rolled away. I see her first running to tell the others the tomb is opened and the body is gone. I see the desperation in her face, the tears glistening in her eyes, her pleading manner as she hopes-against-hope that one of the others can help — perhaps they know where He is.
And then I see her as she was after the others had come to the tomb and verified that he was indeed gone. They didn’t stick around to ponder where he had been taken. They left hurriedly — perhaps to share the news, perhaps to escape what they perceived was a coming purge. But not Mary Magdalene — she is standing there weeping as the others leave the empty tomb.
She is alone. She is desolate. Not only have they killed her Lord, now they have taken away his body. The body she was set to prepare for burial is gone. There is no other way she can serve her Lord. She has lost him. She is grieving. She is bereft. She was without a comforter because the Holy Spirit wasn’t given yet. Her one peace, Jesus Christ, is gone. Her heart is broken and she doesn’t know what to do or where to turn. She is lost without him. (Just as we all are.) I see her weeping. I feel her grief and her pain. I can sense her anguish and her hopelessness. My own heart is breaking. Her one desire was to perform that one last service for him, but he can’t be found. Such anguish of the Soul. Heartbroken Mary Magdalene. I feel such empathy and such compassion.
And then, he is there! She sees him! She talks to him! And he tells her what to do — go, Mary, and tell the others I am risen. And obediently she does it. This is recorded in John 20 verse 17 and 18.
What I saw this morning is what is not recorded in verse 18 — the overwhelming joy that swept through her. He lives! He lives! He lives! She runs to the others to tell them. She’s laughing. She’s crying. She’s dancing. As she recounts her encounter with the risen Christ, she grabs their lapels and laughs and cries and tells them HE LIVES! She’s nose-to-nose with each one, sharing the only message that matters — HE LIVES!
As I read through these passages I recalled my own moment of salvation and the incredible joy I felt because He lives, and how many people I would just overflow into as I told them Jesus Lives. That was my message then and that is the message today. Jesus Lives. Hallelujah!!