By Brooke Holt
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’—and that he had said these things to her.” John 20:16-18
Can light shine into the darkness and overcome it?
Mary’s trek to the grave began in darkness. Her hope had been squelched as she watched her friend, teacher, and Messiah die between two thieves on a cross. Jesus, the light of the world, had been crucified. Darkness seemed to have won. Read Matthew’s account of the last hours of Jesus’ crucifixion: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45). It was in that ninth hour that Jesus breathed his last breath. For three hours, darkness covered Jesus and all who gathered around the cross.
Mary, overcome with the darkness of grief, goes to the tomb early in the morning: “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1). For Mary, it seemed that darkness had prevailed. And that darkness became even more grueling as Mary feared someone had taken the body of Jesus (see John 20:2).
While deep in her grief, Mary looked inside the tomb where she saw the first glimpse of light. Indeed, Jesus was not there, but in the tomb where his body had been lain, there were two angels in white (John 20:12). Even then, Mary lamented and inquired as to what they had done with the body of Jesus.
In that place of desperation and hopelessness Jesus spoke her name, “Mary”. Immediately, Mary knew it was him: her friend, teacher, and Lord. Darkness did not prevail, and Mary was entrusted with this glorious news! She is the one Jesus sent to tell the disciples that he had risen from the grave. The light of the world was among them once again.
The light of the world is still here, present, and ready to summon you. Are you listening for his voice, seeking his light in your feelings of grief and confusion? The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. No darkness exists that he cannot break through.
Do you feel lost, hopeless, or like darkness is prevailing in your world? Ask Jesus to reveal himself to you in those places. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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