Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb…But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." (John 20:1,11-13 NASB)
I cannot begin to understand the range of emotions she experienced. She thought she was coming for her final farewell. She was to finish what had been started in laying Jesus' body to rest. But, as she approached the tomb she saw the stone had been rolled away. Two men sitting inside, unbeknownst to her angels, asking why she was crying. To put myself and my personality into the situation-I imagine I would have turned the questioning on the angels. "Who are you? Why are you here? Have you done something with my Lord? Where is He? Tell me now!" But I guess that's why I'm writing about her and I wasn't the one at the tomb …
Clearly, Jesus' words were not at the forefront of her mind. She had walked with Him just as the disciples had. She saw His many miracles, SHE was a miracle! She had heard Jesus speak of resurrection, she probably witnessed at the very least Lazarus' resurrection. Jesus told His followers that as Jonah had been in the belly of a fish for three days so would the Son of Man. Yet, on day 3 when Jesus' body was gone she probably believed that either the Jewish leaders or Romans vindictively took His body or perhaps grave robbers or thieves looking to gain from taking the body of the "miracle working prophet". She just wanted His body back.
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and 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 Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her. (John 20:14-18 NASB)
As a woman, it is amazing to me that the first word to come out of Jesus' mouth in His glorified body was, "Woman" ... And even more than that, He chose to show Himself first to a woman, and she was the first to carry the message of His resurrection. If anyone has discounted you because of your gender, age, or your station in life you should be encouraged that Jesus doesn't look at that. In the society where Mary lived she was a second class citizen because she was a woman without "means". If you were a man, no matter your lot in life - you were always regarded more highly than women. Jesus, made sure the first message after His resurrection was one that uplifted the marginalized. He could have easily shown Himself to the disciples ... Especially His close three, Peter, James and John. But instead He chose a woman, one who, at one time, had several demons, and a person who was marginalized in society to reveal His glory and divinity.
And not only did He speak to a woman - He called her by her name. Mary. He got personal ... intimate. It's the same with us today. Regardless of your feelings of inadequacy or insignificance Jesus wants to be personally intimate with you. He wants to give you significance - be your significance. He wants to give you an assignment, purpose. Mary was the first to carry the full gospel message. Jesus who died is now risen. That is purpose. How many people did she share that with during her lifetime? How many came to faith in Jesus because she shared her testimony? She had worth beyond measure, all because Jesus chose her to be the first one He conversed with after His resurrection.
What conversation has the Lord been attempting to have with you? Have you received your significance, worth, purpose because of your encounter with Jesus? If not, I encourage you to converse with Him. It is possible through prayer. Don't go with a laundry list of things you need and/or want - yes, He is concerned about those things - but when you are able to just spend time with Him in a conversation and hear what He has planned for you ... your life will be that much richer because you chose to have your conversation with the Christ.
Just Around the Corner,