An Eastertide Devotional by Lonetta Key


John 20:10-16


In verses 1- 9 John relates the discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene and Peter and John.  But what follows is the focus of our consideration.  It begins with a fascinating and rather startling comparison between reactions to the same event.


The two disciples took a look into the tomb and “Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.”  (verse 10)  How easily their curiosity was satisfied.  How quickly their interest waned.  It would appear their priority was returning to their routine lives, while leaving the happening of a life time for Mary.  Rather mind boggling when one considers the enormity of what they had just witnessed.


Mary, on the other hand, was moved to tears and went back to take one more look.  What a blessing she received.  It resulted in a conversation with two angels, asking her why she was crying.  An encounter which Peter and John completely missed out on in their rush to get on with their day.  Mary’s experience was enlarged and magnified because she was so deeply involved in her need to know where her Lord was.


In the process of answering their question—“They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him”—she turned around.  What a pivotal move that was.  There stood Jesus.  But in her grief she did not recognize Him.  As did the angels, He also asked why she was crying.


Here is an interesting reflection.  Mary, thinking He was the gardener was so determined to find Jesus she willingly volunteered to go get His body wherever it was.  And now we read the ultimate reward that came to such a devoted follower of Christ.  He spoke her name and immediately Mary realized it was Jesus.  So in tune was she with the voice of her Master she immediately recognized Him.  She was the first to see and interact with the risen Lord.  What an awesome privilege.  Just think what the other two missed.



There are several applications to be derived from the text.  How well do we know the voice of Jesus?  Are we immediately cognizant when He speaks to us—when He calls our name?   Are we even listening to hear His dulcet tones?


How much of an effect does the resurrection have in our daily living?  Even though it occurred over 2000 years ago it has not lost any of its potency.  The New Testament is resplendent in its depiction of the exorbitant power the resurrection should have in the life of a Christian. 


Paul tells us in Romans 8:11 that the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead also lives in our mortal bodies.  That Spirit is alive in us. 


In Philippians 3:10 Paul expresses his desire to more “deeply and intimately come to know the power outflowing from the resurrection which it exerts over believers.”  (Amplified translation; emphasis added)


Once again, in Ephesians 1:20,  Paul speaks of the immeasurable, unlimited, and surpassing greatness of the power that raised Christ from the dead.


Oh my dear brother and sister do we respond to the empty tomb like the two disciples?  if only our reaction would emulate Mary’s—if only we could begin to grasp what resurrection power can do.  We would be propelled into spiritual heights heretofore unimagined.


May each of us be so absorbed and saturated with that power that with total confidence we can say, “I know He is alive.  I have seen Jesus and I know He saw me too.”  God has spoken through the resurrection.  Let the church say amen and sing Alleluia.

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