|He Is Risen by Greg Olsen|
On this Easter Sunday, I am grateful for my Savior and His Atonement, His love and His grace. I am grateful for the lesson I learned from Mary Magdalene.
When Mary Magdalene was alone at the sepulchre of the Savior, she was feeling overwhelmed and distraught, so much so that she "stood without the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre" (John 20:11). Mary could not find her Lord. His body was no longer in the tomb. She had come early that morning, "when it was yet dark," to bring oils and spices to anoint Him- in essence, to come and worship Him (John 20:1).
But He was not where she expected Him to be.
Mary looked into the sepulchre, and saw the folded linens that had wrapped her Lord. She saw two angels, but she was not satisfied because it was not her Lord. She explained the cause of her sorrow: "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him" (John 20:13). Mary could not find her Lord. She did not understand why He was gone, and her grief was doubled at His disappearance.
As she cried by the tomb, Mary "turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus" (John 20:14). She didn't recognize her beloved Lord even when He spoke to her, asking her whom she was seeking (John 20:15). Instead of recognizing Him, she asked Him where HE was, saying, "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away" (John 20: 15). Mary wanted her Lord, but she didn't recognize Him. Mary knew where her Lord had been when she had last seen Him, and He was there no longer. His body was no longer in the tomb.
"Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master" (John 20:16). Her Lord knew her, He called her by her name. I am sure that the love in His voice pulled her eyes upwards, away from the tomb, and up to His face. And then she recognized Him. Mary found her Lord.
And He wasn't in the tomb.
Sometimes there are awful moments in life. Sometimes life becomes dark. Sometimes when we look to find our Lord, He is not where we expect Him to be. Sometimes we are looking so hard within the dark and empty tomb that we cannot recognize the Lord when He standing behind us, coming near to us. Our relationship with Him changes as we change, and as our needs and strengths change.
When my illness becomes very bad, it is easy to look within the dark place of worry, pain, fear, anxiety, and sadness. It can be very difficult to focus on anything else. It can be unbearably difficult to attempt to look anywhere else. But where is the Savior? Where is his promised aid and comfort? Where is the Lord who knows my name, my pain, and is my salvation?
Get your head out of the tomb, and turn around. Look up, not down. Look to the light, not to the dark. Find hope, not despair. Listen for His voice.