Very early on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and other women returned to the garden to complete the burial. On Friday, after Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had placed His body in a tomb. By Jewish custom, the body should be buried by sundown.
As a devoted follower, Mary had been a first-hand witness of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:55–56). Her devotion ran deep as Jesus had cast seven demons from her (Luke 8:1–3). We can only imagine her dismay when she arrived at the tomb to find the stone rolled away. She ran to tell Peter and John who bolted to the garden. When they saw the burial clothes folded and purposely placed, John believed (v. 8).
After the disciples left, Mary lingered, taking advantage of the solitude to grieve with tears. Eventually, she peered into the tomb and saw two angels where the body had been. When they asked her why she wept, she told them, “They have taken my Lord away” (v. 13).
She turned and saw a man who had a question of His own: “Who is it you are looking for?” (v. 15). Perhaps it was still dark or her eyes were blinded by tears because she thought He was the gardener and had moved the body. “Tell me where you have put him, and I will get him” (v. 15).
Then, Jesus uttered her name: “Mary.” Imagine the love in His tone! Full of joy and awe, she responded: “Rabboni” (v. 16). Jesus gave Mary an important mission—to go and tell the disciples: “I have seen the Lord!”
That Jesus chose Mary for this assignment is astounding. Women were rarely trusted with significant work. They were not typically messengers. They couldn’t serve as legal witnesses. What made Mary credible? That she sought and served her Savior.
>> Hebrews 11:6 says that God “rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Mary went to the tomb seeking Jesus, and He met her there, forever changing her life. Seek Jesus today as you read His Word and pray.
Lord, today we pray for believers whose faith has grown stale. Turn them back to You; stir up love for You in their hearts and give them hope. Whatever has caused them to lose their focus, restore them to intimacy with You.