“I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18
She was confused, grief-stricken and unutterably weary.
Perhaps going to the garden tomb where Jesus’ body had been taken would ease some of the turmoil in her mind and heart, but finding it empty on that dark morning only increased her roiling emotions.
She had run to her sorrowing faith community to relate the shattering news, but they didn’t believe her story – “her words seemed like nonsense.”
She returns to the only place she knows, the place where she last saw Jesus if only his bleeding, broken body. With tears flowing she stoops to look inside the tomb. Maybe her first impression had been wrong. Maybe his body was still there and she could express her devotion with costly burial spices.
In the bleak, dim light of dawn, she glimpses two men dressed in white who ask what seems the most simplistic of questions: “Why are you crying?” Her answer reveals a heart broken beyond repair: “They have taken my Lord away.”
Surely words pronounced by seraphic figures should be enough to assuage her sorrow, but she needed more. Turning around, perhaps ready to leave this place of despair, she sees a man. He repeats the angels’ question but asks one more of his own, one that pierces to her soul: ”Who is it you are looking for?”
Down through the ages the same question is whispered to every human at one time or another. While we often try to silence its sound with the pursuit of self-fulfillment, activity or relationships, God relentlessly repeats the gentle words, “Who is it you are looking for?”
The Bible says that it was when Mary turned to the man whose voice she heard that she recognized him as her loved and loving Savior. She now had no problem convincing her friends of her experience. Her testimony, “I have seen the Lord” activated their own response and rings down through the centuries.
Are you looking for something, for someone? The simple act of turning finally to the one who loves you enough to understand your broken heart and see your flowing tears can be the beginning of new life. His words are the most profound ever spoken: “I am the good shepherd. I have come to give you life. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
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