I always feel sorry for the three ladies who were there at the Crucifixion. I imagine their fear and their pain as they witness the most awful death of the man they knew to be their Savior. I can imagine the noise and the confusion, the sights and the smells. Then I can imagine the silence.
I can never stop reading after I read about the Crucifixion. I have to read on to the Resurrection, I have to read about how Jesus rose!
Mary Magdalene could not do that. She could not skip ahead to see that the promises Jesus had made were going to come true. At some point, she had to leave the place where she had just witnessed the most awful thing in her whole life, and go home. I can imagine that there was a lot of crying oneself to sleep that night, and the kind of pain and confusion that we will never experience.
As the Sabbath ended, I can imagine Mary Magdalene preparing for bed and getting ready for the week ahead. At some point in this process, she must have decided first thing to go and seek Jesus. I read all four Gospels this morning, and saw each one knew it was important to mention that Mary Magdalene rose intentionally as early as possible to go seek Jesus.
John 20 vs 1
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”
Matthew 28 vs 1
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”
Mark 16 vs 1-3
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?””
Luke 24 vs 1
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb”
Yet when she goes to find Him, He is not there. Mary Magdalene then runs to Peter and the other disciple, who in turn go running back to the tomb. The word running emphasizes the intensity of the moment. I cannot recall the last time I had something so important to do that I physically ran to achieve it.
The disciples whom she called for help, confirm that Jesus is not there and they return home, but not Mary. Mary who rose early to seek her Lord stayed and wept. She then looks into the tomb again.
John 20 vs 11
“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.”
I wonder what she hoped to see as she looked back into the tomb. She had already seen Jesus was gone, she had ran to call for help and the disciples had confirmed what she had seen with her own eyes, Jesus was gone. Yet she looks back into the tomb and sees two angels who speak to her, she turns around and sees Jesus.
Matthew 7 vs 7
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
For the rest of Mary’s life she would testify of the day that she had rose early to seek Jesus and how she had found Him. She would testify how she sought the Lord and He was found. She first looked for Him and He was not there, she asked for help and still did not give up. She looked again, and He was there.
Mary could have seen the empty tomb and gone home, crawled back into bed and been filled with self pity. Mary could have called the disciples and then walked back home with them. But Mary continued to seek until she found Him, and He was not dead, He was, and is ALIVE!
May the Easter weekend be filled with moments of reflection and meditation. May we confess our sins as we remember the Crucifixion, may we be filled with hope as we remember His Resurrection.
And may we always remember to seek until we find Him.