Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hadst laid Him, and I will take Him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
All creation seems to be enveloped in darkness.
The heart of man is dark, confused, chaotic.
The whole world lieth in darkness; and darkness in Scripture is the embodiment of all that is ugly, filthy, wicked and corrupt.
The government is dark, all government is fin darkness until now. For proof of this you go to the sessions of theUnited Nations (sic!). The grave is dark. We all move around a number of years, and we grow uglier by the year. We stumble a little, and fall into the grave. They bury us, and our place knows us no more.
The future is dark. There, is an agonizing cry coming from the heart of all men: Who will show us any good? And there is no answer.
But attend to this: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelled in the land of the shadow of death upon them hath the light shined.”
That was written many years ago as a promise.
Well, the promise is fulfilled. Jesus came!
And coming, He suffered and died, but rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.
And now all is different.
Look at the heart of man: “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in Christ.”
Look at the world: “I am the Light of the world!”
And the government? “Unto Me is given all power in heaven and earth.”
The grave? “O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?”
And what about that dark future? “Behold, I make all things new!”
And it is all due to the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!
No, no one has seen the resurrection of Jesus.
None of the evangelists attests to the resurrection as such.
Matthew approximates nearest to it: a great earthquake is seen; an Angel of the Lord rolled back the stone; there is the shaking watch; and the angel sitting on the rock.
What are we to say of this greatest of all miracles?
Well, for one thing it is called in the Bible “the beginning of the creation of God.” And Jesus is called the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead.” He is called, because of His resurrection “the foundation of the Kingdom of God,” the Firstfruits of a glorious harvest which shall comprise a new world.
And according to the style of this resurrected Lord shall the Building stand in all its beauty and glory.
Jesus is both resurrected and risen. According to His Godhead He arose. According to His manhood He was resurrected.
For Christ Himself this resurrection is the beginning of unutterable beauty and glory: the Light of God’s love replacing the outer darkness of hell and damnation.
The resurrection of Jesus told Him and us that the Father had accepted the price of the ransom of the brethren and sisters.
Moreover, God made Him Lord and Christ. God set Him at the apex of the new creation: a name that is above all other names in this world and in the world to come.
And His reward is with Him: a name above all names, the new world, the Church as His glorious Bride, absolute victory over all His and our enemies, all the reward of grace.
For us, the Church of God?
Christ’s resurrection is our Light!
What does that mean?
Absolute justification, and that entails a perfect righteousness, forgiveness of all our sins, adoption unto children of God, the right to eternal life, and peace with God.
But there is still more.
It also means the power of a new life. Attend to this Scripture: “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead. . . .” Note, that the same great and exceeding power which God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, He also wrought in us unto faith. In other words, the power of faith is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
And finally, the resurrection of Jesus is the earnest of our blessed resurrection.
He arose: the Head!
But the Head has our glorified body, soul and spirit with Him in the Throne of God!
And where the Head is, the Body must be!
We are surely to follow Him in the resurrection from the dead!
What blessed comfort there is in Jesus’ resurrection!
Now let us attend to the seeking Mary.
Who is she?
She is Mary of Magdala, a village in Galilee.
A woman who had an awful past: she had seven devils in her. She must have been a devilish woman, and I do not think that people allowed her to forget her past. That’s the way we are.
She is one of the women who had followed Jesus on His trip to Judea. And those women ministered unto Him and unto the other apostles. They reminded the men when it was time to eat and to drink. They reminded the men when it was time to put on clean clothes. And so on.
Yes, this Mary was delivered by Jesus out of great misery. Hence, a great and burning love for Jesus.
And that is very evident: she is the last at the cross and the first at the sepulchre. She seeks and she weeps for Jesus.
See how the love of God is without fear. She is not at all afraid in the presence of angels, She investigates, answers, and queries the angels. And then there is that Unknown behind her: she supposed Him to be the gardener.
Beloved reader, this Mary is the representative of all God’s beloved people. In themselves unclean and possessed with devils. But as called and cleansed by Jesus. And all of them from the smallest to the greatest possessors of de love of God.
Henceforth, all of them, like Mary, seek Jesus.
But let us return to Mary.
She had come early to the sepulchre with the other Mary, Salome, Joanna, and the others. They had bought spices and saw where they had laid Him. And then they rested according to God’s commandment. But at the dawning of the day on that first New Testament Sabbath, they came with the purpose to anoint the dead body of Jesus as a last gesture of genuine affection for Him.
As soon as our Mary saw the stone rolled away and the grave empty, she ran and told the disciples. And she followed slower than Peter and John who ran. The women had left, and the disciples had left. But Mary must needs stay. She loved Him so very, very much.
And then she saw the angels. Whom seekest thou, why weepest thou?
She answered and then saw that MAN behind her.
And the MAN spoke!
It is the voice of the Son of God who was beginning to be glorified.
“Woman, why weepest thou?”
And Mary with her one-track mind says: I want Jesus!
Of course, Jesus knew. He simply wanted to draw her I out. He wanted to bring her mind from the grave to Himself.
But Mary imagines Him to be the gardener and wants to know where he had laid the body of Jesus.
And then comes that wonderfully sounding word: MARY!
It is enough: she knows now. The miracle happens to Mary: her eyes are opened so that she is able to see and recognize Jesus, her beloved Jesus. Jesus teaches Mary a lesson in theology: she must learn that He was risen and therefore spiritual, that He belonged henceforth to the “other” world, that He was not yet ascended, but that He would ascend to the Father.
But He did say to her in accents sweet: Mary!
Yes, Jesus calls us by name.
Go to Romans 8:29: “For whom He did foreknow. . . .”
It is the eternal foreknowledge of love and lovingkindness. Mary!
It is the irresistible call that always will have an answer.
In Mary’s case: “Rabboni!”
And that means: Master mine!
The irresistible call of Jesus gives content to a burning heart of love.
But Mary must learn that from then on there would have to be another way of communion with her Lord. No longer would she have that wonderful communion with Him on their travels from Galilee to Judea, and from Judea to Galilee; No longer would she do her part in the ministering to Jesus and His disciples.
But she would have the communion such as we have it today: through His Word and Spirit.
Beloved reader, do you seek and long and yearn for Jesus, the lover of your soul?
There is only one answer left for you and for me: Master Mine!
Fall down on your knees and reach for Him who is the Delight of the angels, and acknowledge that He owns you, body and soul, for time and eternity. Master mine!