Jesus said to her, “Mary [Magdalene]…Go to my brothers and tell them…” John 20:16,17 (Brackets mine)
I think Mary ran.
Oh definitely, she felt fear and confusion and wonder and a thousand other emotions when a risen Jesus called her name. But I also think the excitement of seeing the warm glow of the Messiah’s face alive outside a cold, empty tomb overshadowed those other emotions…even that pang of nausea when she saw the still-fresh wounds from the nails.
Yes, when Jesus told her to “go and tell,” I think Mary ran.
Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, often has been referenced as “the highest of the high days” for Christ-followers everywhere as all ages – from cradles to canes – celebrate our Savior’s resurrection; that same resurrection that makes eternal life possible for us. I wonder if Mary ever knew the full impact of the news she carried, or that said news would revolutionize the entire future of the world? That she would know to the fullest extent seems unlikely, but how I hope she felt an inkling of the powerful role she played in the Resurrection miracle. Consider the implications of her message to the disciples then. And to us now.
Mary delivered joy. After three days of sorrow, despair and questions, Christ’s followers would hear that, true to His Word, He was alive. To this day, Easter is a primary time for the gift of rejoicing as many church congregations open worship services with the traditional greeting/response of “Christ the Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!” We go on to offer joyful praise in song: “He arose, He arose. Alleluia, Christ arose!”
Mary delivered life. The fact that Christ indeed arose meant eternal life for Mary herself, James, John, every person who accepts by faith the mercy of His grace. Glory to Jesus’ Name, that even includes Simon Peter and me. Christ-followers traditionally symbolize this gift of life by adorning their places of worship with an abundance of flowers on Easter Sunday.
Mary delivered newness. Jesus arose as a “new” being with a glorified body and now sits upon Heaven’s throne, exalted and untouchable by death. Once we join Him in Eternity, we too will be graced with new and glorified bodies. In the meantime, we may choose to honor the tradition of newness by wearing new clothes on this Day of days. (Interestingly, ladies, some say the traditional No-Black-Shoes-Before-Easter rule originated in response to respect for this tradition, so break that one at your own risk.) 🙂
Mary delivered hope. Easter brings hope to those who miss loved ones who’ve passed away or are terminally ill. The Resurrection brings assurance that we without a doubt will live with Jesus forever precisely because death has been conquered by Him. The original date of this entry’s publication falls on the first anniversary of my Grandmother’s death, so today this hope is for me the proverbial cold cup of water in a desert of grief. The flowers used to represent the aforementioned Easter tradition of life are often placed in churches in recognition of a loved one’s eternal existence.
Mary delivered victory. Jesus is delivered from the worst of the world and the worst of Satan – the power of death. Christ like a Mighty Warrior comes forth from the grave as Undisputed Victor. On Easter Sunday and every other day, Christ-followers do well not only to express joy and gratitude in this victory, but also to actively participate in said victory through an unwavering display of faith as we readily and victoriously “bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.”
That’s one powerful message, and somehow I don’t think Mary meandered leisurely away when Jesus sent her from the tomb. I don’t think she stopped off for coffee en route to the disciples’ door, either.
I think Mary ran with her news.
Shouldn’t we run with it, too?