Willing to Linger

John 20:11-16
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 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.

Peter and John had come to see the empty tomb.  They saw the linen clothes and the napkin wrapped up no longer needed.  But after seeing this, they went back home, seeing no reason to linger at the tomb.  But Mary stood at the sepulchre.  Mary wouldn’t be satisfied until she knew what had become of the body of Jesus.  She grieved for her Lord and Savior.  She grieved her Master and Teacher.  She had nowhere else to go but the last place she knew His body to be.

Mary saw the angels in the tomb, but they seem to hardly faze her.  She sees Jesus but doesn’t yet know it is Him.  She is so consumed by grief, and nothing she is experiencing at this moment makes any sense to her.  She is overwhelmed with this puzzle of the lost body.  But then when she finally realizes Jesus is there and He is alive, that changes everything.  Her devotion to Jesus was apparent, and because of that, she lingered at His tomb.  And because she lingered, she had the privilege of being the first person to see the risen Christ.

If Peter and John hadn’t gone home, they, too, would have seen Jesus and believed.  Sometimes getting to know Jesus in a new way takes a level of patience and dedication that not all are willing to demonstrate.  Sometimes privileged experiences of our Lord come to those willing to linger a little longer, those willing to wait so they can know the truth so surely for themselves, those whose highest desire is Jesus Himself.  Mary was there to find Jesus, and He came directly to her, proving that for those who seek Him, He will be found.  Are we willing to be patient in waiting for Jesus to reveal His truth to us?  Are we dedicated to seeking to know Him more?  If so, we won’t be disappointed when Jesus reveals Himself to us in a way we hadn’t known Him before.

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