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Power that is Personal

John 20

[10] Then the disciples went back to their homes, [11] but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb [12] and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

[13] They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." [14] At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

[15] "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

[16] Jesus said to her, "Mary."

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).

[17] Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

It took a while for the fact and impact of the Resurrection to sink in. The disciples were still shell-shocked and fairly clueless as to what had happened. It was just too easy to believe that the theft of Jesus’ body was the final cruel joke to cap a horrible week. So they returned to a place where they had been staying, most likely the Upper Room but possibly a home of a relative in Jerusalem.

But meanwhile, back in the Garden, an exciting conversation was going on. As Mary the Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb she was asked several questions. Her first conversation was with two angels who asked, “Why are you crying?” The Lord asked the same question again followed by the query, “Who is it you are looking for?”

It seems that it was not until the Lord Jesus spoke Mary’s name that the truth of the situation was revealed to her. At that point, she cried out with joy at the discovery that Jesus was, in fact, very much alive. When she tried to cling to Jesus, Mary was told she should not do this because He was still to return to His Father.

These are fundamentally the same questions that the Resurrection event asks of us.

1) Why are you crying? Tears are not bad or wrong but in the age of the Resurrection we catch a glimpse of the place where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Rev. 21:4). If we are crying for joy, this is appropriate. But if we are still agonizing in the despair of sin’s grip, we need to be captured instead by the power and impact of the cross and resurrection.

2) Who is it you are looking for? If we are looking for a dead teacher, we will not find Him. Many would prefer a dead teacher to the Resurrected Lord. Why? Because you can make a dead teacher say pretty much anything you want. The Resurrected Lord, on the other hand is a dynamic life-giving relationship in our lives. The Resurrection itself asks us this basic question: Who is it you are looking for? A dead religion or a living relationship?

The final turn of the conversation is very personal. Jesus spoke Mary’s name. Just as we often will recognize our name when spoken by someone we love, Mary immediately realized that this was the Lord. The Resurrection of our Lord is not an impersonal theological event; it is a personal spiritual event. Jesus died not just for “the world” but for you. He died for Mary by name. He was raised for Mary by name. He died for me, by name. He was raised for me, by name. He died for you, by name and He was raised for you, by name.

How will the Resurrection impact your day today? Are you sad? Hurting? Many times we are. He is here with resurrection power to meet us and mend us. Who are you looking for? What are you looking for? We often scramble about in search of dreams and things. What we really need is life! The life that only the resurrected Lord provides. Go out today walking in the truth of the Resurrection. Go out today share the power of that life.

Lord, I give thanks that Resurrection is personal. You have called my name. You died for me and You were raised for me. I am walking in that truth today. In Jesus’ name.