“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. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, 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!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”
John 20:11-18 NIV
As Mary stands outside the tomb, she is overcome with grief. Less than barely 48 hours earlier, she had lost the life of her Messiah, the man who had healed her and shown her compassion that she had never before experienced. She had staked her existence upon WHO HE SAID HE WAS. But now he is gone, and so is the cornerstone of her story.
She came to the tomb today to say goodbye.
She needs this. Just a few more moments with Jesus to honor him. To tell him “Thank You.”
But the body isn’t there. It’s gone. Mary is crushed. By stealing the body, they had also stolen her chance for closure. The cruel blow is the final straw: Mary weeps.
She sees a man approaching.
Who could this be? The gardener, perhaps? Maybe he knows where they took him? PLEASE LET HIM KNOW SOMETHING!!
And so she pleads with him, her voice ridden with desperation. She needs a lifeline, any piece of information that could help her find the body of her Lord.
HE CALLS HER BY NAME AND EVERYTHING CHANGES.
Moments earlier, Mary was overcome with grief, resigned to the reality of Jesus’ death, and terrified to face the future without him.
BUT THEN HE CALLS HER BY NAME.
Now, she sees him for who he really is.
When he calls her by name, she knows that he is Jesus, that he knows and loves her, that he is alive and has conquered death, and that HE IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.
Are we not the same? Like Mary, we are looking for Jesus, whether we know it or not. He is always there, yet sometimes we don’t recognize him. But then he calls us by name, and everything changes.
When he calls us by name, we recognize him for who he really is.
When he calls us by name, we realize that he knows us and loves us.
When he calls us by name, we accept that he is the Savior of the world.
Today, I am so grateful for a Savior that calls me by name, comforts me in my grief, and strengthens me for his purpose.
I pray that maybe today, you hear your name for the first time, and that everything changes.
He is RISEN!!