“Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark” (John 1:20 Amp).
Perhaps the reason Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene after His crucifixion was to demonstrate tender grace and hope to one with an afflicted tormented past. Strewn throughout the gospel accounts, we read about Mary’s deep and dear devotion to her Lord. Love rearranges priorities—and this love had so altered her entire life that she came to the tomb before anyone else. It seems the purpose for Mary’s arrival was to continue preparing the body with additional spices, anointing the corpse. John’s gospel gives a detailed description of what happened next.
Upon nearing the burial place, to Mary’s sheer amazement, the stone was rolled away. She assumed the guards had stolen Jesus’ body and carried it elsewhere. Quickly, she ran from the garden finding Peter and John and told them the tomb was empty. Hearing this, Peter and John hurried to the site, investigated, and then returned to their homes.
Not Mary. She lingered, standing outside the tomb weeping. Suddenly, two angels spoke to her, “Why are you weeping?” When Mary began explaining the devastating dilemma, she turned aside to see a man standing nearby. He asked her, “Who are you seeking?”
Supposing the man to be a gardener, she reiterated her demise. Finally, Jesus kindly called her name and immediately she recognized His voice exclaiming, “Rabboni!” (Master or Teacher). From this point on, Mary Magdalene’s life took a wonderful radical turn and forever etched in her memory, ‘I have seen the Lord.’ What a glorious difference one day made for Mary!
In similar fashion, as Good Friday approaches, ushering in Passover, we’re reminded of Christ’s resurrection. Hopefully, we’ll recognize His voice and answer when He calls our name.