The Shock And Awe Of The Resurrection
It was early in the morning, shortly before dawn and Mary Magdalene had come to the tomb with spices as was the custom in those days. But the tomb was empty. Horrified, she figured someone had stolen the body. Tears flowing down her cheeks, she didn't know what to do. She looked down into the tomb again - and there were two angels there, but she didn't know they were angels.
"...and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.
Then they said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?'
She said to them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord,
and I do not know where they have laid him.'”
Perplexed, she turned around thinking she must go and tell the apostles that someone had taken away the body of Jesus. But before she could start back, she saw a man standing nearby and she thought he was a garden worker. So she asked him who would have taken the body, and where would it be?
"...she turned around and saw Jesus standing there,
and did not know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her,
'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?'
She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him,
'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him,
and I will take him away.'”
It was still dark, she was overcome with grief, and she didn't recognize who this was. Until …
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'”
Stunned and in total shock, (can you imagine the shock!) she cried out to him.
"...'Rabboni!' which is to say, "my Teacher".
She didn't just say it, she screamed it, hardly believing what she was seeing with her own eyes!
Mary had seen his disfigured body on the Cross struggling for breath, the blood flowing down from all his wounds, the most grotesque sight she had ever seen. She had seen him take his last agonizing breath. She had watched as they prepared his body for burial …
But now, when he said her name, she recognized him and was astonished. Here he was standing before her, in his perfect body. She was dumbfounded. On hearing that voice, she cried with a heart overflowing with joy, "Rabboni!!!"
Think about it, picture yourself there; think about how incredible this experience was to her and later to his followers. Jesus had spoken of the resurrection while he was with them, but they thought he was speaking parables, because this was beyond anything they had ever known. The absolute shock of realizing he had literally risen from the dead contained all the wonder, the amazement, the joy of recognition that flooded their very beings.
Having witnessed this, those who had followed him from the beginning of his ministry on earth, who witnessed the crucifixion, and then saw the resurrected Christ - they were so impacted by this that they spent the rest of their lives preaching the Gospel everywhere. They were fearless and willing to die if need be, and indeed most of them ended up martyred for their faith. But they had seen Jesus! And there would now be no price too great to pay. They had seen Jesus. Risen from the dead. And the whole world needed to hear it.
All about Jesus Christ