We went on home, and by that time Mary had returned to the tomb and was standing outside crying. And as she wept, she stooped and looked in and saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.
“Why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him!
“Why are you crying?” he asked her. “Whom are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said. She turned toward him.
“Master!” she exclaimed.
“Don’t touch me,” he cautioned, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Jesus did not want to be detained at the tomb. If he did not ascend to heaven, the Holy Spirit could not come. Both he and Mary had important work to do.
He Is Near
Mary didn’t recognize Jesus at first. Her grief had blinded her; she couldn’t see him because she didn’t expect to see him. Then Jesus spoke her name, and immediately she recognized him. Imagine the love that flooded her heart when she heard her Savior saying her name. Jesus is near you, and he is calling your name. Can you, like Mary, regard him as your Lord? Are you filled with joy by this good news, and do you share it with others?