Thursday, April 9, 2015
John 20:11-18, conclusion (no more tears)
Mary Magdalene's third opportunity to allow God to wipe away her tears was when she saw Jesus Himself. She turned away from the messengers inside the tomb, and saw someone standing there. But her eyes were so full of tears that she did not recognize Him. Sobbing with grief, she could not see Him clearly. It was only when He said her name that she realized it was Jesus. Then she reacted like a child in her joy, and reached out to Him, to perhaps grab His hand or His garment.
It overwhelms me sometimes, that Jesus knows my name. He knows yours, too. Does that fill you with awe? Jesus said, "I know my own and my own know Me."
And He knows our tears. It make take a while for us to realize that Jesus is calling our name. It may take a while for us to hear Him. But He is not dead; He is alive. And He will wipe away our tears if we will let Him.
Mary Magdelene's last opportunity in this passage was when she returned to the disciples. After she met Jesus, she went back to them with the message that Jesus had given her. Remember that two of these men had also been to the tomb, and we can imagine that by now, they were all talking about what had happened. Peter and John were there. As we studied last week, John saw and believed. Now with the return of Mary to their little group, they could all move from doubt to belief. They could all rejoice together.
God doesn't expect for us to be alone, whether we are in pain, or we are joyful. That is why Jesus chose disciples, and that is why Jesus established His church. He continues His work today in the church, the body of believers. We can inspire hope in one another. We can remind each other of the comfort in His presence. We can work together to continue His mission, and to see people's lives changed by Him. Together with Him, we wipe away the tears.
This is an imperfect world. It's also a world in which Satan rampages about, accomplishing much destruction.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
He causes pain, sorrow, sadness, and sin. We fall for his ruses time and time again. But God comes to us time and time again when we repent, and lets us know that He wants to wipe away our tears.
We need to look through our tears at the empty tomb. We need to watch for (and be) His angels. We need to listen for the voice of Jesus. And we need to find our place in His group of followers.
God tells us in Revelation that there will come a day when He will wipe away every tear from our eyes . . . oh, how I look forward to that day!
Don't you, too?