Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 5, 2015

celebration and invitation

He is Risen!  He is Risen as He said!

Those rapturous declarations are the headlines of this day, and their truth forever changed the world and the hearts of all those who believe! The suggestion is, once again, strong to leave those words to stand on their own in this space.  How can anything stand beside them or even in their shadow?

There is, however, one detail of the day which will not leave me.  That detail finds its setting just outside the empty tomb, where Mary Magdalene stands overcome with grief.  As Mary weeps, John 20:11-12 says, 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.  The angels ask why she’s crying.  She’s certain someone has taken Jesus’ body and she hasn’t the first clue as to where.  As Mary finishes, she turns around and makes eye contact with Jesus (except, she doesn’t recognize him).  This is where the single detail begins.

Mary mistakes Jesus for a gardener and is silent as she looks at him.  Jesus asks the question, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Just as I am certain that His choice of Mary as the very first person He would reveal Himself to was neither random nor trivial, neither was the way Jesus addressed her.  In speaking to Mary, Jesus says, “Woman…”  Nothing has yet changed in Mary, so she responds, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  And then all at once, everything changes!

With only a single word, Jesus removes the scales from Mary’s eyes.  Where once there were seven demons responsible for her blindness, some measure of flesh had taken residence and was blinding her once again.  Just as He had once spoken the words to cast out seven, Jesus spoke one to make her see.  “Mary,” was all Jesus had to say.  In an instant after hearing the Master speak her name, she knew Him.  The voice which had spoken “Woman” was a stranger, the One which spoke “Mary” was her Savior.  Can you, in this moment, relate?  Is your ear tuned to the voice of Jesus?  Have you ever heard Him call your name?

I’m absolutely convinced this is where the singular detail walks up next to “He is Risen!” and rightly stands.  As I typed those three questions, it was instantly clear why that detail wouldn’t leave me.

What if you are reading and your answer to any of those three questions is “No”?  What if your answer to that final question is “No”?  As monumental as today’s celebration should be for one who believes, it is an infinitely larger welcome and invitation to someone who has not yet believed.  What Jesus did by dying for us and defeating the power of death forever by rising again can change EVERYTHING for you.  As you’re reading these words are you beginning to hear the voice of Jesus?  Is there is a small voice in your soul, or that place you might call your conscience, that is trying to be heard?  If so, this “detail” about Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ voice was just for you.  Don’t wait to respond back.  He’s listening.  Cry out to Jesus, and He will hear you.  And please know we are here to help you take the next step.

Resurrection day is not the exclusive possession of the believer.  Shouting from the street corners and mountain tops today are the equal voices of celebration and invitation. What Jesus did, He did for all.  What began on Friday and began anew today changed EVERYTHING!  He is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed!

THE-story-is-our-story_wordpress


Responses

  1. “But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (O Mary….O Mark….O Jerry – 🙂 ….you are mine)

    Whose God is willing and desirous to be seen as, and confused with, the “Gardner” after great victory!?!? You truly are like no other!! 🙂

  2. Thank you for your faithfulness and your insights during the last week. As always you give us much to think about.


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