“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). John 20:15-16 NLT
This third Mary, who we meet on our journey to Easter, is Mary Magdalene. Of her background we know only that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her (Lk 8:2). Speculation beyond that runs rampant among the Hollywood crowd, but what the Bible does make clear is that this woman, followed Jesus. She along with a few other women ministered to the daily needs of Jesus and His disciples. Mary Magdalene also stood by His mother Mary at the cross. Like us, she was helpless get the religious authorities to accept Jesus or to alleviate His suffering on the cross, but on Easter morning, she along with other women came with spices to prepare the body according to their traditions. This was not only a demonstration of love and respect for the dead, but also a part of the grieving process. But it was not to be. The tomb lay open and empty! As they saw it, someone must have come as a final act of disrespect to hide the body. Little did they yet know the full and amazing truth of Easter. Yes, angels had met them, and told them that He was risen. Peter and John had even come and gone. But after they have all gone home, Mary stands alone and weeping outside the door of the grave. She does not understand what this all means. Are you there this morning? Have you read the story of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, but have a hard time connecting to how that touches your life? Just like Mary, many of us have come looking for Jesus, but our hope comes not from gaining more information about His whereabouts. Hope and joy come from discovering that Jesus has come looking for us! He is looking for those who are looking for Him. The joy of Easter comes not from an explanation of the fact. Joy and faith come from the sound of His voice calling our name!
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. Psalm 130:5 KJV
Whether looking out the window at a nursing home or looking out the window at work or school, we all sometimes wonder how we will make it. We ask ourselves where we will get the strength to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. When we face outward conflicts, at least we can see the enemy we are fighting. But when things seem dark and confusing on the inside sometimes, we feel totally hopeless.
If that is your situation today, then listen to the way King David found hope when He was in a dark place. He discovered in a moment of failure that his greatest enemies were actually far bigger than Goliath. David’s fall into sin, left Him so ashamed that he wondered how he could face his family, his friends and responsibilities as a leader. Then, at his darkest moment, David remembered that the same God who had given him hope when he fought the giant had also promised him forgiveness and restoration after he had sinned. God’s word was not weakened by his failure and there was no limit to how much God could restore when he turned his heart towards Him. Just as with King David, God offers us hope and His promise does not have an expiration date. We have not missed our chance to ask God for His help. Right now, even if we feel we are at the end of our rope, it is the right time to put our hope in His word. Ask God for His help because today is the perfect day in all eternity to put our hope in His word!
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