Encountering Jesus

In a world of our deepest pain, Jesus meets us.  He meets us in the manger of poverty and rejection; in the storms of fear and despair.  He meets us in the garden of pain and suffering; outside the tomb of loneliness, and in the emptiness of grief.  He meets us in these places, but does not leave us there! 

He draws us out to a place of hope.

Early in the morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had placed Jesus.  Alarmed that Jesus’ body was gone, she ran to tell the disciples.  Both Peter and John investigated the scene, but they left.

Mary remained.

Scripture does not tell us why she stayed.  Angels inquire why she is weeping. “They have taken my Lord away…and I don’t know where they have put him” (John 20:13).  The angels are silent.

She turns—seeing Jesus standing behind her, but she doesn’t recognize him.

’Woman,’” he said, ‘why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”   (John 20:15-16).

Why Jesus would have reserved His first resurrection appearance for women, specifically Mary Magdalene, Scripture doesn’t tell us.  Perhaps her love was deeper, her need greater, or her faith in Him shone as allegiance evident beyond the grave.

I love how Jesus moves from the kind but impersonal address of “Woman” to a simple calling of her name.  “Mary,” He says, making Himself known in this personal way.  She knows Him instantly!

As a woman, I cherish this account. Who am I looking for? 

Jesus who stands universally with women and men in our deepest sadness and greatest need, even when we do not recognize Him. On a personal level, Jesus meets me, His Word illuminating my gloomiest moments of rejection and pain;  His voice reassuring me of His love; and His treating me with kindness, not as a second-class citizen of the Kingdom as women are sometimes made to feel.

When we encounter Jesus, He tenderly reassures that He knows us—by name.

For further study:

  • What have you done with the claims of Christ?
  • Do you investigate, believe, and walk away or do you remain by faith even when you don’t fully understand?
  • Will you leave everything behind to be devoted to Him?
  • When He calls your name, will you know His voice immediately?

For additional study:  Matthew 4:18-20, 28:1-10; Mark 8:34-38; John 10:11-21

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 1, 2012

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