Personally, in scripture I relate most of all to Mary Magdalene…mostly because when so many around Jesus wanted the miracles He could do for them, her heart and eyes were solely on Him because of who He was. When He walked into her life…and healed her, delivered her, and loved her, her life was forever changed. She surrendered and worked alongside the apostles and the leader women and provided, served, loved and enjoyed her Rabboni. Yes, you heard me, her Teacher. In study just tonight I learned that rarely is that term used with “Rabbi” – but she used it that way. She changed the meaning from Rabbi to Rabboni…from Teacher – to “My” Teacher. That to me is a total soul sell-out.
I think she also changed Jesus’ life with her love. Don’t all relationships change our lives? After all, He came to save her – all of us – so that He could HAVE relationships with us. Why would He be distant as He walked on the Earth? He wouldn’t be. He enjoyed each moment of those 33 years with those who breathed the breath of life…that He gave them. I believe that with all of my heart. Every relationship will always be personal with Him. Every relationship will always be unique with Him.
Mary Magdalene was not afraid to be personal with Him. He knew everything about her and loved her anyway. Because of love…she stayed there for Him during the days of His ministry and she was there at the end…as He struggled to breathe on the cross…as those closest to Him lay weeping at His feet – as they laid His lifeless body into His mother’s arms. Believing that He was gone forever, they all grieved…hearts shattered…spirits devastated and drenched in tears of sorrow that they believed would never end. But God had a plan.
So this, my friends, is where tonight’s story begins…seemingly at an ending…
Mary Magdalene woke up that Easter Sunday morning long before dawn. Her eyes were swollen, her cheeks paved with the dried path of many, many tears. She lay there in the dark, hurting. It felt like her heart was screaming in pain. She hurt for the pain He endured. How could they have done those things to Him? What happened to make the world fall apart so suddenly? She whispered brokenly, “Jehovah, help me. Help us all…”
Suddenly filled with an urgency to get to the tomb, she rolled over and stood up. Weak for a moment she just closed her eyes. Trying to shut out the horror of yesterday and the truth of today her lips quivered and she swallowed hard. With cracked words she cried softly, “Jehovah…they hurt Jesus so much…they killed Him…and my mind is filled with His last hours.”
Trying to get hold of herself she wiped her face on her sleeve and stooped over to tie her sandals. Then she straightened and walked over to the table by the window and with her hand shaking she picked up the anointing spices. She reached up and draped her wrap around her head and walked out the door into the pre-dawn morning. She felt the need to get to the tomb early. She didn’t want Jesus left alone. She knew His mother would be there soon also. “Oh, Mary,” she whispered, “I hurt for you too.” She went the rest of her journey in silence…heavy in heart…one foot in front of the other.
It was still dark when Mary Magdalene made her way through the garden path and rounded the final hill to reach the tomb that Joseph and Nicodemus had laid Jesus in. She was shocked to see that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance of the tomb. Seeing that the tomb was empty she ran for Simon Peter and John.
Startling both of them so early in the morning, “Mary cried out, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him!” They all ran back to the tomb. Entering the tomb they found the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that was wrapped around Jesus’ head. It was folded up all by itself. They didn’t understand what happened but they knew it was true…He was gone.
The disciples left and went back to their homes. But Mary couldn’t leave…crying with even deeper sorrow she just stood outside the tomb. Bending over she looked again in the tomb and saw two angels seated where Jesus’ body had been. They asked her why she was crying and she explained that someone had taken her Lord away. She turned around…so lost…and saw a man standing before her…asking why she was crying. Not recognizing Jesus she asked if He knew where Jesus was….and if he took Him to please tell her where He was so that she could go and get Him. Not knowing what else to do she just hung her head as tears dripped from her face.
At that, Jesus simply called her name, “Mary.”
She looked back at Him and cried out, “Rabboni!” She threw herself at His feet hardly even hearing Him caution her not to hold on to Him…for He had not yet returned to His Father. All she could say was, “You’re alive…you’re alive…you’re alive…” He instructed her to let the disciples know…and she ran like the wind…
Now how awesome is that?
I wonder when Mary met Jesus that first time if her grieving face in the future flashed before His eyes…I wonder if He already knew how many tears she would shed for love of Him. I know with all my heart that not one of her tears was wasted. In fact, I know that He still has them all.
He has yours and mine too. That’s how valuable we are to Him. We are the point of it all. And that’s love.
Creative fiction – story 2
Patti Corbello Archer
August 13, 2011