Updated: Feb 11, 2019
On this Easter, I want to share a blog post I wrote some time ago. It characterizes the Hope of Easter and His love for us as believers in Christ and His love for the world at large.
Happy Easter from InterLearn! He is RISEN Indeed!
Joshua T. Fischer, Ph.D.
Today I read one of my favorite passages in the New Testament (John 20) as part of my Bible reading plan. It’s the story of Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Jesus. You’re lucky to just be reading about my reaction to the passage. If you had to listen to me read the passage (even after the many times I’ve read it), you would see that I can’t make it through the passage without choking up. Frankly, it’s awkward if you’re listening and watching me and it’s not having the same effect on you.
In the passage, Mary is beside herself with grief at the loss of Jesus. Then she comes to the tomb only to find that He’s gone. She even sees two angels in the tomb but either doesn’t recognize them as angels or is too overcome with her pain to care that they are angels.
Then as she steps back out of the tomb to leave, she sees Jesus. But, again, because of her state (or because of Jesus’ state perhaps), she doesn’t recognize Him. She just knows her grief and loss. All that she wants is to find Jesus to say goodbye. She wants one last chance to be with Him and serve Him.
Through her tears she is suffering the pain of the loss. It is at this height of emotion when she comes to find her lord’s body missing. She had hoped that He was the Messiah and had placed her trust in Him. Her hopeful desire of Israel’s restoration was crushed. He was only her fallen lord. So pain upon pain, she finds herself at wit’s end.
Jesus sees her complete state of turmoil. I imagine how, like in times when he looked on the crowds with compassion (Matthew 9:36, Mark 6:34), He saw Mary and His heart was broken for her. His single-word response was pregnant with emotion: Mary! His words to me seem a tender response to her exceptional pain at loss she felt. Mary!
In that instance, she recognizes instantly that her pain is unfounded, her loss is lost. She grasps that her lord is THE Lord and Savior and her hope for Messiah is realized. All hope is not lost. THE Hope is right in front of her.
And then I take the scene a step further. I see Jesus no longer talking to Mary but talking to me. Josh! I’m right here for you. You don’t need to hurt anymore. You don’t need to be empty anymore. Your Hope is here. All is not lost. Your Savior is come!
And the same is true for you. Your Savior has come and He’s calling your name with tenderness.