"Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' ..." (John 20:16a). Read John 20:1-18.
After the long, dark weekend, Mary Magdalene left early Sunday morning to go out to Jesus' tomb. Already filled with grief and sorrow she saw the tomb broken open and Jesus' body missing.
She ran to tell the disciples someone had stolen His body. Peter and John ran out to investigate, then went back into hiding to consider what they had seen. Mary stayed behind at the tomb, overwhelmed with sorrow.
Have you ever stood at a graveside totally lost and immersed in unspeakable grief? Imagine Mary's pain, totally shattered by the brutal murder of her Lord.
But Jesus had already told His disciples how the story would end. This was a day of joy and victory; it was not a day of grief and loss. And so Jesus came up to her and at the sound of her name on His lips, the light burst forth and scattered the darkness of Mary's grief.
When we stand by a loved one's grave, this is a moment to remember. On the Last Day our loved ones who are now separated from us, hidden in the darkness of the grave will stand before us shining. Their voices that are now still in death will be music in our ears once again when the Light comes to raise the dead and vanquish the darkness forever.
We will see Jesus with our own eyes just as Mary did on that great day of resurrection. And we will shine in that glorious light forever and ever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for bursting out of the tomb on this glorious day, revealing our future and that of our loved ones who have died in faith. Give us joy, courage and hope as we await that glorious day of Your return, and help us share it with all. We pray in Your holy Name. Amen.