A special Easter message.
We’re just a few hours away from celebrating one of the most joyous days of all time….Resurrection Sunday.
Have you ever thought about what it was like over 2000 years ago to see the empty tomb and turn around to see Jesus standing before you after his death three days earlier? That’s what happened to Mary Magdalene. John 20:11-18 tells her story:
but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
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.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“Woman,” he said. “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.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
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.
Can you imagine the feelings that flooded through her at that moment after witnessing His suffering? He had risen just as he said he would do! Hallelujah!
Did you know that the old hymn, In the Garden, was inspired by this encounter? Our music minister sometimes tells the story behind a hymn and he mentioned this one several months ago. The hymn writer was an amateur photographer and while in his dark room one day, opened his Bible to the passage mentioned above. As he was reading, he had a vision as if he was there watching this take place. He then he wrote the words quickly and formed the lyrics to In the Garden.
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses.
And the voice I hear Falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.
He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody, that He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him,
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go, thro’ the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
After growing up singing this song, I never knew the story behind the hymn. Amazing, isn’t it? You would think the song was about anyone following Jesus, but it was actually written about Mary Magdalene. Yet, we can still claim this as our own in walking with Jesus.
If you want to read the full version of the story, The Gaffney Ledger includes the writer’s own words in their article (click here).
“The tomb of Christ is famous because of what it DOES NOT CONTAIN!”
He is risen. He is risen indeed! What a glorious day!
Wishing you a blessed and joyous Easter.
You might also like my Easter post from last year – Beyond Baskets and Bunnies