My friend told me a story this week about how she lost seventy dollars. She said, “I had the money when I went to the craft fair. I knew I didn’t spend it. So, when I got home, I emptied my pocketbook and looked through everything. When I saw it wasn’t there, I started looking frantically through my house. I still could not find it! Suddenly, I recalled the money was in an envelope. I looked on the table and there sat a folder. Inside it was the envelope…with the whole seventy dollars in it!
We’ve all done it from time to time, looked for something when it was right in front of us the whole time, haven’t we? We are in good company because a woman named Mary, in Jesus’ day, did it too…
Mary had such love for Jesus. It was she, whom He had cast the demons from. (“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.” Mark 16:9) And it was she, who had tenderly poured expensive perfume on His feet and wiped them with her hair. (“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair.” John 12:3)
Mary was heartbroken as she approached the tomb in the days after Jesus’ crucifixion. John 20: 11-13 says, Now 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.”
Mary was naturally traumatized by what she witnessed at Calvary, the cruel death of her beloved Lord. Now He was missing! I picture her looking wildly around for Him. The scriptures say, At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.” John 20:14 Mary was looking for His dead body, but Jesus was alive!
We do not serve a dead God! He isn’t like any other gods of this world…inanimate and unable to move in our lives. Our God is the Living God! "Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
We can have close fellowship with God. Psalm 42:2 says, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” The answer to that is NOW! Right now, you can pray to God! It doesn't matter what you have done in your life. God will forgive you because His Son, Jesus Christ, paid the price for your sin!
God’s word tells us that Jesus was standing right in front of Mary, but she didn’t recognize Him, “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.” John 20:15 Mary must have been looking around frantically. She didn’t recognize the living Lord, although she looked for Him with desperation in her heart.
It wasn’t until our Savior called her name that she turned to Him and saw Him, alive! “ Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). John 20:16 This verse makes my heart skip a beat! Mary heard Jesus calling her name! Only then, did she recognize Him!
Mary was so blessed to have interacted with Jesus before and after His resurrection. And while we cannot physically see our Savior; His fingerprints are all over our lives. He speaks to us through His word. He teaches us through His Holy Spirit and He reveals Himself in our circumstances. We can’t help but love Him! “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” 1Pet. 1:8 Yes we are!
Jesus is alive! Is He calling your name today? He is right in front of your eyes in the pages of God’s word. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Rom. 10:17 Read your Bible and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. The book of John is a good place to start.
Do you know Jesus already? If you do, I hope today you will be encouraged that Jesus has called you by your name. You have gone from being loved in the world, (“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16) to His beloved one. (“… I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.” Rom 9:25 )
There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more, God loves you completely. He loves us in such a way we can barely scratch the surface of … “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, …” Eph 2: 4,5
Are you seeking Him today? Are you heartbroken, looking frantically in difficult circumstances for your Lord? He is right there with you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deut. 31:6