Approaching the tomb at early dawn, Mary Magdalene’s only hope and expectation was to find Jesus’ body just as she had seen it laid there two nights before, and to anoint it as an expression of her faithful love and devotion to the one who had set her free from the torment of “seven demons” (Luke 8:2). She had already experienced so much grief. It is difficult to imagine how she felt in discovering that the one thing left for her to do, to serve and honor him, had been taken from her.
Her best hope that Sunday morning was to anoint a dead body, but she found an empty tomb.
She ran to tell Peter and John the news of the stolen body. They came to confirm the report, but went away again to their own homes, still not understanding all that Jesus had been telling them.
As she stands again at the tomb, the two angels appear, asking her why she weeps. She replies that the body of her Lord has been taken away, and she does not know where it is. Her only hope was to anoint the body.
When she is asked the second time the reason for her weeping, she assumes it is the gardener, and asks him to tell her where the body has been laid. Jesus is there in her presence, but she doesn’t see him.
Then in a single moment, as he calls her by name, a veil is removed from her eyes and she sees her risen Savior standing before her. She wants to cling to him, to hold him close. Maybe she was remembering all the things that Jesus had told his followers, and now understood. Maybe she was simply overcome with joy that he was alive. Maybe she realized that her best hopes were now secured in a risen, death-conquering Savior.
And so in obedience, she ran to tell the others, “I have seen the Lord!”, and everything was changed.
The day when we respond to the voice of Jesus, who calls us by name, we are given eyes to see him. And it changes everything. “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord- who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT)
Live the Story
Reflect on the interactions of Mary and the other disciples with Jesus in John 20. Thank the Lord for removing the veil so that you are able to see and reflect the glory of the Lord, and for sending you to tell others about life and hope that you have found in him. Thank the Lord for removing the veil so that you are able to see and reflect the glory of the Lord, and for sending you to tell others about life and hope that you have found in him.
By Nicole Jiles
Children’s Ministry Director