It had been a horrible week. What started out wonderfully, uplifting even, had quickly turned harsh and nightmarish. Now everyone was practically hiding in their homes unsure of what the day would bring.
She had put her trust in Jesus, fully believing He was the Son of God. He had worked miracles in her life and in the lives of many of her friends. His words sometimes seemed hard to understand, but she held on to them and followed Him. Now, she was just a mess. The tears came freely, leaking from her eyes, pouring down to her clothes. This was too much to wrap her mind around! She couldn’t think, she couldn’t understand! Where was Jesus? Where was He? All she could do was cry.
Sounds like a coronavirus story, doesn’t it? It isn’t. Mary Magdalene sat in the garden confused, a wreck. She had followed Jesus — literally — to His death. So much Did. Not. Make. Sense. She had seen His body taken from the cross. Seen it wrapped in cloths. Watched as He was laid in the tomb.
John 20 tells the amazing story.
“While it was still dark,” Mary went to the tomb. Oh, how dark it was! I believe it had never been darker — for the Son had been extinguished on the cross.
After a sleepless Passover weekend, she raced to the tomb. The place where she had last seen Him. Verse 11 tells that Mary stood outside crying. She had questions, fears. She was confused and didn’t understand.
She knew someone was close by. Through her tears, she wailed, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where He is!” Honestly speaking, life can be hard. At times, we may not be able to comprehend what He is doing, how He is working, where He is — for the love. But He WAS there! Mary just didn’t realize it. My Life Application Study Bible’s commentary states, “Her grief had blinded her; she couldn’t see Him because she didn’t expect to see Him.”
In her anguish, her uncertainty, Jesus was there. She blurted out her despair. “If you have taken Him, tell me and I will go get Him.” We can voice our heartaches to Jesus.
Then, the very best part: He called her name, “Mary” (close your eyes and hear it), and she KNEW! It was HIM! Her Jesus! Her Savior! ALIVE!
Easter/Resurrection Day is the best day of all — even during the COVID-19 epidemic. Even though you cannot go to Easter services. Even though you are not with family and friends. Even though you don’t have a fab new Easter outfit. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then miraculously arose on the third day making a way for us to go to heaven if we put our trust in Him. Jesus is enough! He is with us!
Even when it is still dark!