She had watched from a distance as Jesus had been humiliated, mocked, brutalized, and murdered as a form of execution for crimes had not committed.†
Mary was at a loss why Jesus didn't use his power to defend himself. She had experienced his power herself when Jesus delivered her from her own darkness and despair. Seven demons controlled — at least that is what her friends told her. All Mary knew was that her life had been crazy: darkness enveloped her with what felt like unending evil — a darkness she couldn't escape on her own.
Jesus had the power to stop this great evil controlling her: why didn't he stop it for himself? Maybe that is what drew her this morning. Something about his power ... and his love ... and what happened on that cross ... still drew her to him.
She had seen the tomb where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had placed him after they had tenderly cared for Jesus' mutilated body. But now, on Sunday morning, after the Passover and Sabbath had passed, Mary had come back to care for that same mutilated and lifeless body.†
Welcome to Resurrection Sunday! We join Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Jesus, just as light is breaking into dawn.
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lordís body out of the tomb, and we donít know where they have put him!" (John 20:1-2 NLT).
Did you notice what Mary called Jesus? Mary called Jesus, "Lord!"
How could she call him that? He is dead. Her dreams are shattered. Her hopes are crushed. Yet something inside her tenaciously clings to a belief that even in her darkest of moments, Jesus is still Lord!
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 donít know where they have put him." (John 20:11-13).
But more than Jesus being Lord, Mary says that Jesus is, "My Lord!" For her, Jesus is personal. Jesus is real to her. And despite tragedy, hurt, disappointment, discouragement, and even despair, she is willing to say, "Jesus is MY Lord!"
And notice what happens when she does hang on to Jesus as her Lord through everything, no matter how confusing and hopeless.
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").
"Donít cling to me," Jesus said, "for I havenít yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" Then she gave them his message. (John 20:14-18).
Now imagine the excitement in her voice! Listen to her breathless and joyful wonder as she tells the other disciples, "I have seen the Lord!"
This is resurrection Sunday.†
Jesus is raised from the dead.
So we join Mary and say with all our heart, "Jesus is my living Lord!"
May you, on this blessed Sunday, be able to experience the presence of the living Lord. May you be able to share with others that you have seen the work of the resurrection Savior in your own life because ... ... Jesus is living and among us and is Lord.
So this, my dear friend in Christ, is a reason to celebrate. This is why we say, "Happy Easter!"