I love to read the Easter story in different Gospels. This morning I want to share with you some of my thoughts on one particular account. It is found in John 20:13-16 where we read of Mary weeping as she looks in the empty grave. “They (angels) said to her (Mary), “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).”
Overcome with grief upon grief, she didn’t recognize Jesus. How often are we so swept up in our emotions that we fail to see Jesus standing right before us? How often do we default to panic or hysteria, neglecting to trust that Jesus is at work in our circumstances and that he had a plan all along? Maybe at times, it’s our disbelief that God will truly follow through on his promises. After all, his promises are unfathomable to the human mind.
The highlight of Mary’s story is that, even though she didn’t immediately recognize Jesus, Jesus recognized her. Mary’s story is my story; it is your story, for even when we don’t see the Resurrected Lord Jesus because of our human doubts, frailties, and insecurities, he sees us.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Jesus, you have risen. You have risen indeed! You see me, and you call me by my name. You are my Savior, and you never leave me. When I feel distanced from you and can’t see you, open my eyes to your presence. All glory, praise, and honor are yours, my Risen King. Amen.