An Electric Moment
Lord, help me to recognize an electric moment in my life as You continue to open new doors for me.
Read John 20:11–18
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Praise God! In the midst of events that turn the world upside down, he still calls us by name.
Mary returned, overwhelmed with grief. Emboldened, perhaps, by Peter and the other disciple, she dared to look inside the tomb and saw what the other two had not: two angels. She noticed their appearance. They were not dressed as mourners, but in white! And their question was not what one would expect when a close friend has just died. (The address “Woman” communicates what in that culture would have been a term of respect.) Something very odd had happened, but Mary was distressed and was no doubt worn out with sleeplessness.
All she could do was articulate her confusion.
What follows is one of the most electric moments in all Scripture and indeed in all history. Stop for a moment and put yourself in Mary’s position. Would you be prepared for this? It is noteworthy that when Jesus appears after the resurrection his friends often don’t recognize him until he chooses to reveal himself (an explanation for this phenomenon is hinted at in 1 Cor. 15:35–49). In every case, he makes himself known in some symbolically meaningful action (John 21:6,7; Luke 24:30,31). In this case he speaks Mary’s name. Stop and imagine what that would be like.
Jesus comes to every one of us individually and personally. As Christians we don’t believe in the resurrection merely as a theological concept. We believe because we have had an encounter with the risen Lord, who has spoken to us by name. He has taken away our tears and our fear. He has filled us with joy and energy. It does not stop there. He told Mary to carry the news of his resurrection to the disciples. The very fact that the first witness was a woman bears testimony to the historical accuracy of John’s account, as women were not traditionally considered reliable witnesses. Jesus has commissioned us all with tasks to which we are uniquely suited.
Have you heard Jesus speaking to you personally? What has he commissioned you to do?
Lord, speak to me by name as You commission me to a work for You and Your kingdom. As Saul of Tarsus asked, “Lord, what would you have me do?” (Acts 9:6).
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.