Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in,
and he saw and believed;
for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb,
and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.
And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
(John 20:1-16 ESV)
i listened to a GREAT sermon my tim keller this morning on my walk. it was about doubt. and how two people can look at the same event and see two different things... john, (who names himself “the disciple Jesus loved” ooh, i love that about john. i like anyone who gives themselves a nickname) saw the empty tomb and believed even though he really didn’t understand everything that was going on. mary saw the same tomb. saw some angels. saw someone she thought was a “gardener” and came to this conclusion... somebody has robbed this grave. a logical conclusion. the wrong one. but given the evidence... very logical. the same conclusion nancy drew might have come to. mary even looked at Jesus and saw Him standing there. but didn’t see Him. really see Him for who He was. and is. and will be.
until He called her name. then she turned and SAW Him.
sometimes we are focusing so hard on the “evidence” that we see with our eyes that we can come to no other conclusion than the obvious one, the mortal one, the rational one, the earthly one, the one within the realm of possibility, the natural conclusion... we can even be staring at Jesus and we think He is someone else. something else. something natural. something normal. within our scope and experience and boundaries of space and time and rules of the universe. thinking He is a gardener (which i find a bit funny since this story all kind of began in a garden). until He calls our name. and we turn and see Him for who He really is... alive and present and He has been there the whole time. one word... our name, from His mouth and we know who we are. and who He is. we are the student. He is the teacher.
may i be like john, the disciple Jesus loved. may i see the evidence and believe the miraculous even though i haven’t the foggest idea how it occurred. but every now an then i think i life to be mary. so i can jump to the wrong conclusion. and weep for a moment. confusing Him with something all normal and usual. just so i can hear Him say my name. just so i can look again at Him and see Him totally transformed from the mundane to the miraculous. just so i can hear my own voice answering back with surprise and joy. answering Him with recognition of who He actually was the whole time, who He is right now, and who He will be... forever.