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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, April 4

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.
—John 20:1

It is the first Easter. Mary Magdalene comes to Jesus’ tomb, sees that the stone has been removed from in front of it, and then runs to tell Simon Peter and the other disciples, who follow her back to the tomb. 

They fear that grave-robbers may have taken the body.  The men enter the tomb and see nothing but the linen cloths lying there. They leave Mary outside the tomb, weeping.

Suddenly, a man she supposes to be the gardener appears and asks why she is weeping. She replies to the “gardener,” “if you have taken the body, tell me where it is.”

Then Jesus says to her, “Mary!” She turns to him and says in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus then says, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father." She is to go and tell the disciples what she has seen. Mary Magdalene goes and announces to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she tells them what he has said to her.

Jesus calls her name, “Mary!” Of all the Easter stories, this is my
favorite. I picture times when I have wept, felt hopeless, and in some way heard God say my name. Just that awareness, that sense of being known and loved has such healing in it. 

I, like Mary, gather myself up, and while I may not actually announce to people that “I have seen the Lord,” I do try to tell people who feel lost and in despair that God knows them, loves them, and, if they will listen they, too, can hear God calling to them, offering new life.

He is risen! He is risen! Hallelujah! Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2005.