This morning we're starting back up again on John 20! Or, more specifically, John 20:11-18. Please read the whole passage before continuing (and have your paper Bible out to check my facts because I'm not going to cite anything that's in the passage).
So, after John and Peter see the tomb, they head home, leaving a weeping Mary alone outside of the tomb.* I guess it will always be a mystery why Mary stayed outside the tomb but I'd like to think that, in her grief and sorrow, she wanted to be at the place she knew He last was, to stay as close to Him and His "memory" as possible. But regardless of why, she stayed. And as she wept she repeatedly looked back to the tomb even though she already knew exactly what was there. It was as though she couldn't believe that her sadness could be the end of the story after she had personally tasted His love and power (Luke 8:1-2). And each time she turned back to Jesus (or where she thought He should be), she was rewarded a little more for her faith. The first time, she saw two angels and in talking to them, declared that Jesus was her Lord. The next time she saw Jesus Himself.* But when she sees Jesus she doesn't recognize Him* even though He's the one who she most wants to see and who has occupied her thoughts constantly for the past 3 days at least. The reason for this is that she is looking for the wrong thing. She expects to see a dead Jesus but instead He is alive!* It isn't until Jesus calls her name* (reaches out to her on a personal level) that she sees Him for who He is. Thankfully we can always count on Jesus to be personal with us, to know how to reach us and do what ever it takes for us to see Him for who He is!
*Personally I don't think that was very smart on their part and I've always wondered if they just kind of forgot about her and felt really bad when they realized it later? Or if she actually wasn't alone (some of the other gospels say several women went to the tomb originally...)
*I think this is cool literally (obviously!) but also metaphorically. Each time we trust in God's promise and turn back to Jesus, we too are rewarded for our faith.
*It's funny how she mistakes Him for a gardener because He is a gardener! :D John 15:1 (or at least God is!)
*Honestly, I know that I'm guilty of doing the same thing a lot of times. I go into my quiet time with this weird mindset that says it's going to be tedious and boring but instead of finding something that is dead to me, I rediscover the fact that God's word is living a breathing and that hanging out with Him is often the most fun I have all day! (This happened to me on Saturday when I read about Nadab and Abihu!:))
*Isaiah 45:3 Yay! The OT and NT connect once again!
Side Note: I think it's really cool that Mary is the first person Jesus physically reveals Himself to. I think that in doing so He probably made it impossible for the disciples to doubt her importance (and of women in general) to Him and earned her the respect and trust she needed (and probably couldn't of earned herself since she was female) to impact the world for her Lord. It probably also strengthened her faith in Jesus' love for her!