As soon as we know something new, our first thought is to tell someone else, right? We finally get a newer car that runs. We go tell others of our good fortune. In marriage, as soon as we find out our first child is on the way, we go tell everyone who will listen. Without thinking about who to tell, or about how they might feel in receiving the news, we simply tell, driven by our own excitement and joy. How they will receive it seems secondary to us at the time.
Here’s another life stuff issue. After months of financial challenges due to medical, loss of job, or other life happenings, we learn that we can be free from debt because of a new plan. We go tell others the plan and the results so the plan can help them. We LOVE telling good, helpful news!
After years of trying to do life completely on our own, we come to a new understanding about God. We find out about a love we have yet to experience in this life. We learn God, the Creator, loves us deeply and wants us to love Him back. Simple concept, really. The only thing standing in our way is our sin. Then we learn that our God of love had a Plan from the beginning of Creation to solve this sin issue.
We learn that God loves us so much that He sent His Son down to earth to born of a virgin in a cave used for sheltering animals. We learn that His Son grew up as Son of Man and Son of God to reintroduce us to God the Father. We discover that Jesus helped the humbled, confused masses understand what God’s best is for us. We learn from Jesus how to live God’s ways which protects and provides for us while we mature with God’s character traits growing in us. We learn how to live alongside others that God loves (everyone). We learn that God’s Holy Spirit walks with us, always and forever, as we strive to live life well. God’s Plan. God’s Will. God’s Timing. God’s Kingdom in us simply from our repentance to Jesus of our sin. Done. We are not perfect but we are perfectly forgiven.
We learn that Jesus stood in our place and took all the punishment for all the sins of the world, yours and mine. He did what we cannot—be the One and Only perfect, without sin, sacrifice for sin. “It is finished” at the cross. Jesus paid the debt of sin. John now tells of our hope of eternal life for all who believe, all because of the promised resurrection of Jesus, Son of God! Just as Jesus said He would.
John 20:1-18, The Message
1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, gasping for breath. “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”
3-10 Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
11-13 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
13-14 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
15 Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Sir, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
16 Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
17 Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.
MARY SAW JESUS
Mary stayed to weep. Peter and John went back home full of grief and wondering. But Mary stayed. Her overwhelming, paralyzing grief held her there. She couldn’t do anything else. Then, she looked up to see God’s angels attending the empty tomb. The speak first to Mary whose vision is probably blurred from tears gushing down her face. “Woman, why do you weep?” Interesting question to Mary but reasonable from angels who are full of joy and rejoicing because of the risen Jesus! They know this is a time of rejoicing because that’s what angel do in heaven! Their question to Mary is meant to help SEE and understand what has just happened. But she doesn’t. It takes Jesus to help her really SEE and believe.
Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus at first. The grief and the situation are still in control of her broken heart and confused mind. Then, at the sound of His voice, she SEES Jesus for who He really is—Risen Savior and Lord! Grief is vanished instantly and replaced by pure, ecstatic joy. Mary has just seen Jesus for who He is, who He promised He would be and forever will be—Savior and Lord!
Jesus tells her to go and tell. Mary doesn’t waste a minute of time. She runs like she has never run before to get to those who need to know— “I saw the Master!”
Who did we tell when we first saw Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives and understood all He did for us?
Who needs to know today? Yes, who do we tell now?
Are we just as joyful in the telling as the first time we told His story? I’m thinking about that now and praying for God to restore the joy of His salvation in me because through Mary’s joy, my own joy and excitement in knowing Jesus is renewed!
In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen. I believe!