Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast 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.
Mary didn’t recognize Jesus because He wasn’t what she expected Him to be. She had come to anoint a dead body, not speak with a living Savior. She thought that Jesus now dwelt in a tomb and that she would never see Him again or hear His voice call her name. But who are we seeking? Which version of Jesus are we searching for? Is it one that matches up with our expectation of what we think He should be, or are we willing to see Him as He is and experience that in a personal way in our lives? Are we seeking a dead body or our living Lord? Will we let go of our expectations of who Jesus is and expect the unexpected?
Let’s stop lingering at the tomb, because Jesus is alive. Yes, He died on the cross and was buried behind the stone, but He didn’t stay there, and neither should we. Let’s leave behind the weight of death and rise up with Him into the new life that He gives us. Let us forsake those dead works of sin and move forward in obedience to His commands to live and love and give. Mary thought she had lost Him but found He would never leave her. There is no loss to mourn, but only this glorious truth to rejoice in—Jesus is ours, and He is ours forever.
Let’s go forward in our Christian lives with eyes wide open to see all that God is doing around us. He moves in often unexpected ways. He does things we never thought possible. He proves Himself in amazing ways. And we’ll miss it all if we’re looking in the wrong places or allowing our doubts to blind us to His truth. If we trust in ourselves and what we can figure out, we’ll be wandering around looking for Jesus where He won’t be found. We’ll miss all that He’s doing right in front of us. We’ll continue on in that aching emptiness when Jesus wants to fill us anew with hope and life and Himself.
How many times have we missed seeing Jesus right in front of us because we were looking for our idea of who He is instead of the reality of who Jesus Christ is? God doesn’t want us to stay in that mournful state, and so He will come to us, like He went to Mary, and show us the truth. He will call out to us and reveal Himself to us so there is no room for doubt in our hearts. Jesus had to die for our sins, but He rose again, and He will come to dwell with us, closer than we could have ever hoped.