Have You Seen the Lord?
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 rolled away. As one of Jesus’ earliest followers, Mary was a witness to the words and deeds, the prophecies and miracles, of Jesus the Christ. She was his disciple, but also, I imagine, his friend. Healed at the very beginning of his ministry, somehow she found herself weeping at his feet at what she thought would be the very end.
They'd hung her Messiah on a tree. They had cut that tree down, removed the bark, planed the wood, nailed the pieces together into the shape of a cross, and put her Lord on display. "King of the Jews!" they'd called him. But he was so much more than that. He was Healer, Prophet, Rebel, Teacher, Leader, Foundation Shaker, World Changer, Chief Cornerstone, Beloved
Son of God. What would happen now? Now that her hope had been taken away, and crucified.
But today, early, while it was still dark, Mary came to the tomb, and saw that the stone was gone! The tomb was empty! Thinking someone had taken the body, she went to get help.
Simon Peter and another disciple ran to the tomb. Panting and out of breath, they searched for Jesus. Where was he? What could have happened? But he wasn’t there.
Discouraged, and deep in their grief, they went home, but Mary remained, and she looked one last time in that empty tomb. And there he was. Jesus. Though she didn't recognize him. Not until he called her by name. “Mary, why are you weeping?”
It's now that she cries out, “Rabbi,” and runs to him, hugging him so hard he has to tell her not to hold on. But how could she not hold on? Her hope had returned. Hers and ours, on this Easter Day.
Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed.
Mary wipes at her tears and leaves to tell others the good news. “I have seen the Lord,” she says. And I hope, on this Easter Day, that you will see the Lord as well. The Risen Lord.