We get to be with Mary Magdalene today as she has a message specially for her delivered in the most amazing way! We left her following Peter and John as they raced to Jesus’ tomb, inspected it, and left. Now she stands outside His tomb torn up with worry.
John gives us the fullest recounting of Mary’s story but Mark also shares some of the details with us. You can revisit the blog titled Mary’s Personal Testimony if you would like. For today, let’s dive into our story and see where He takes us.
I noticed a couple of things when I was reading through this passage today. One was about Mary and the other was the message Jesus gave her to give to His disciples.
The first item I was drawn to was Mary’s words to “the Gardner.” “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away” (verse 15). The part that stood out to me was her comment that she would take Jesus away herself. She is asking the person she believes to be the caretaker of this garden where he has moved one of the bodies entrusted to him. She has no idea she is addressing Jesus. Her aim is to relieve him of his charge. SHE will care for Jesus’ body herself.
She had no confidence in “the gardener’s” care of Jesus’ body. It had already gone missing on his watch. Who knows what other things would happen to her beloved Lord if left in this man’s care! She HAS TO step in and make things right.
I see a bit of Peter and a bit of Martha in Mary Magdalene. Peter was often getting his mouth ahead of body. He was impulsive and often spoke whatever came into his mind. I believe that is how Mary is reacting. How is she supposed to transport the body of Jesus? Where is she planning on taking it? What kind of help is she going to need? SO many details in that, “I will take Him away” statement. I doubt she had thought through any of them.
Mary also exhibited a bit of Martha’s personality. She wanted to care for everyone. Martha was always cooking and serving whenever and wherever needed. She thought of other’s needs above her own and went to any length to meet those needs, even neglecting her own comfort if need be. I’m certain Mary would have moved Heaven and Earth to care for Jesus’ body if she could. She had already demonstrated that by assisting in the preparation of the spices for His burial.
“Thank you Mary, but I won’t be needing those kinds of service today. But I have another important task I do need you to do.”
Here we come to my second “light bulb” portion. The message Jesus gave to Mary to relay to His disciples. “…go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God’” (verse 17b).
In this message to His disciples He didn’t call them “disciples”, “apostles”, or even followers. He called them “brothers.” In this one statement He told them that they were a child of the King! They were adopted into His family. He was willing to share His Father with them. He told them that they could have a personal relationship with God. He told them that they were HIS brothers! Later on He would go into the rights and responsibilities that went with that adoption, but for right then He simply wanted them to know where He was and what He was doing.
We know that Mary followed Jesus directions to the letter. She told the disciples what Jesus had said. She tried to convince them of His resurrection but they wouldn’t believe her until they actually saw Him for themselves.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the special message for Your brothers and sisters. Thank You also for meeting Mary there at the point of her need. You didn’t make her wait until You visited the disciples to see You. You saw her hurting heart and ministered love to it right then and there. You could have gone on about Your business of ascending to the Father, but You held off for a moment to relieve her pain. No matter what the disciples told her when she tried to convince them that she had seen You, she KNEW the truth and her heart was once again whole. I wonder if she went around the rest of the day with a song in her heart. She probably kept it to herself, seeing as the others didn’t KNOW like she did. That would have been the “Martha” thing to do.