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The Easter Story In Mary’s Eyes

Easter. The word brings a vivid picture to mind. I see Jesus, standing by a grave with the stone rolled away. He is bright, radiating a glorious light. He is perfect; not a blemish graces his body other than the wounds in His hands and feet from the nails that pierced Him. When I see this picture, though, the emotion is usually the same. A thankful heart for what He did on the cross, but it’s fleeting. I don’t often enough take the time to really reflect on the gravity of the meaning of the resurrection.
I’ve known the ending of the Easter story since I was a young girl. Jesus died, and rose again after three days, so that my sins could be forgiven and would no longer separate me from God.
Today, after a wonderful Easter service full of baptisms, worshiping God, and an inspiring message on how everything we do for the Lord is used by Him, I took some time to reflect on the Easter story we all know so well. I prayed that God would help me to see the resurrection in a new light, and He answered. He put the image of Mary Magdeline arriving to the tomb in my mind.
I had finished reading the gospel of John with my husband Luke earlier this week, so the story was fresh in my mind. Jesus, who had no sin, died a criminal’s death on a cross, in order to pay the price for our sins, so we could spend eternity in Heaven with Him. But Mary did not know the ending of this story like you and I do the way we know the back of our hand. 
 She didn’t fully understand what Jesus had meant when he told them he would rise again. When Jesus took his final breath on that cross, can you imagine what she must have felt?
 
He was the long awaited Messiah and Savior to all the Christians on Earth at that time. The bright shining light amongst the darkness in the world. But he was defeated. Or so the people, including Mary, thought. The ressurrection was not on their mind. They weren’t anxiously awaiting the third day to come with anticipation of finding Jesus risen from the dead. In fact, on the third day in the early morning, Mary Magdeline, along with the other women, were on their way to the tomb carrying perfumes and spices they had prepared to cover Jesus’s body with.
 
Mary’s heart was heavy. She was deeply grieving the death of Jesus. When she arrived, and found the tomb empty, she still did not understand that Jesus was risen from the dead, so she wept because she believed someone has stolen His body. Even after speaking with two angels in the tomb, and turning around to face Jesus himself, she still did not understand and mistook Jesus for a gardener, asking what He had done with Jesus’s body.
 
It wasn’t until He spoke her name, “Mary”, that she realized to whom she was speaking.
 
Can you IMAGINE the joy Mary must have felt when she realized she was speaking to JESUS?! Think of your wildest dream come true and multiply the joy you would receive from that by a billion!!! That must’ve been what Mary was experiencing when she realized Jesus defeated death and was raised to life! 
 
The grave was CONQUERED. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy and sin no longer separated God from His beloved people. The joy that this brings is incomparable!!
 
Putting myself in the shoes of Mary, who loved and followed Jesus in the flesh, puts a whole new perspective on this already joyous account.
“I cast my mind to Calvary
Where Jesus bled and died for me.
I see His wounds, His hands, His feet.
My Saviour on that cursed treeHis body bound and drenched in tears
They laid Him down in Joseph’s tomb.
The entrance sealed by heavy stone
Messiah still and all aloneO praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name forever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God

And then on the third at break of dawn,
The Son of heaven rose again.
O trampled death where is your sting?
The angels roar for Christ the King

O praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name forever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God

He shall return in robes of white,
The blazing Son shall pierce the night.
And I will rise among the saints,
My gaze transfixed on Jesus’ face

O praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name forever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God”

-Hillsong Worship
 

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