As you read our verse for today, Holy Spirit is inviting you to step into the deep love saturating this scene by Jesus’ tomb. Lean in closely, reach in, and connect with it. These two women could not bear being separated from their Lord. In their yearning to be as close to Him as possible, they hadn’t even waited for the sun to rise to respond to the visceral aching of their hearts.
They left their homes before the break of day, rushing to where His body had been laid. Overpowering obsession with Him entirely consumed their thoughts and emotions. There was no going back to life as it used to be. The living experience of His unrelenting love for them had forever altered their souls.
The overwhelming measure of their grief was directly proportionate to the overwhelming measure of acceptance they had come to know in His presence. His very demeanor exuded tenderness and devotion to them. In the glance of His kind eyes, they had come to find a new identity. They were, simply, His beloved. They daily drank in His power, His teachings, His truth, and most especially, His affection. To be near Him was to come fully alive.
Now, to lose Him was utterly crushing. Their broken longing for Him drove them early to the tomb. His torturous death had devastated them, and they had to come. Relationship with Him had marked them more profoundly and indelibly than anything they ever dreamed possible. Euphoric love had now translated into searing pain that shot through the depths of their souls, overflowing in bitter weeping.
Understanding all this excruciating emotion, can you imagine the ecstasy of hearing Him call out in warm, ebulliently joyful tones, “Mary!”?* Can you fathom what it must have felt like to look up and see Him standing right there, His gaze overflowing with love, His being exploding with victory, alive forevermore?
When you imagine this scene, what do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear?