I am writing this from the perspective of Mary of Magdala when she encountered Jesus in the garden after He had risen from the dead. Irrespective of whether you are male or female, try to see the scene through Mary’s eyes and perhaps the Living Lord will speak to you in some way as He did to her so long ago.
I don’t have words to describe how I feel about Jesus. When I first met him I was a seriously disturbed woman. I used to fly into uncontrollable rages and my mind was filled constantly with dark and perverse thoughts. Yet it was in this lost state that he found me. As his eyes locked onto mine, my mind exploded into a frenzy of fear and hate and rage, but I couldn’t break the power of his gaze. Then I heard him saying in a voice resonant with authority and majesty, “Come out of her!” As those words penetrated my mind I felt a great internal upheaval in my spirit as if something left my body, then another, and another; seven sickening expulsions in all. And then I was free! From that moment on I adored him, this Jesus who cast seven demons out of me with just one command.
I had watched him die a terrible death by crucifixion just days ago. When I saw him taking his last tortuous breath it felt as though I was dying too. A few hours later I saw the men come to take him down from the cross, and I followed them to the tomb where they laid him. I saw the soldiers rolling the huge stone across the opening and seal it with the imperial mark of Caesar.
Now I stood in the garden in front of an open tomb feeling almost as lost as I had when I first met him. There had been a powerful earthquake, the soldiers had fled, the stone had rolled to the side and I could see that the tomb was empty. Someone had taken away his body. Why? I had wanted to embalm him properly and express my love for him one last time and now I couldn’t! I had cried so much those last few days but again hot tears filled my eyes. Then, through the blur of weeping I saw two shining beings standing where Jesus must have lain. One of them asked me why I was crying. I suppose I should have been shocked to see angels and hear them speak, but I was so overwrought that nothing seemed to matter anymore except my pain and loss. I told the angel that someone had taken my Lord and I didn’t know where to begin looking for him.
I turned away from the tomb to go back home and as I did so, I saw a man standing there. I didn’t really pay him much attention until he too asked me why I was crying and who I was looking for. I don’t know why but I just assumed he was the gardener and my heart lifted a little because perhaps he knew where Jesus’ body had been taken. I asked him but instead of answering my question he just said, “Mary”.
I had been walking past him when he spoke my name but now I stopped and turned toward him. How many times had I heard Jesus speak my name like that? How well I knew that voice. Surely it couldn’t be him?! I wiped the tears from my eyes and gazed at him intently. He looked different but it was definitely him and he was smiling at me, his eyes full of delight. “Rabboni!” I cried out and in that moment my deep distress and unbearable emotional pain left me as surely as the demons had when I first met him, my saviour and teacher.
Dear reader, take some time now and wait upon the risen Lord. “Lord Jesus, what do you want to say to me at this time?”
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