Daily Devotion for May 2, 2017

'Mary's Responses'

John 20: 1-2, 11-16 NAS
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
...Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew,“Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).

I listened to an on-line sermon last night that truly blessed me. Using John 20, the pastor explained how Mary's responses were relevant, applicable, and worth remembering today. Let me share...

1) “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark”...
Mary went to the tomb—first thing—because she loved and desired her Savior most of all (even in death). She desired to take care of Him (to finish the burial process), and she desired to to be nearHim most of all...
Beloved: does your desire and love for the Lord cause you to seek Him first thing? Is being near to Jesus and taking care of His business what your heart yearns for—most of all?

2) “So she ran and...said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
Mary went to the tomb expecting to see and experience one thing (a sealed tomb, the body of her Savior). When she encountered the unexpected (the stone rolled away, an empty tomb), she freaked out and came to the wrong conclusion (the body was “taken”)...
Beloved: know that we too tend to freak out when the unexpected happens—when we can't understand what the Lord is doing, we tend to panic and come to wrong conclusions (instead of trusting His ways, trusting His promises, trusting His heart)...

3) “Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting”...
Mary was so consumed by her “unexpected” that she MISSED the miracle right in front of her (Angels! Talking to her!)!
Beloved: are you so consumed by what's going on that you have not noticed God's miracles right in front of you?

4) When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. “Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
Mary was in so much distress she didn't recognize Her Savior...who was WITH her! Moreover, her wrong conclusion (Jesus was “carried...away”) kept her from recognizing Christ's voice, His Words...
Beloved: distress and anguish can blind us to the Lord's presence! And our wrong, panicked conclusions can keep us from recognizing our Lord's voice...His Words to us!

5) “Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!”
Jesus called Mary by name! When He called her, He became her one focus...and she was filled with JOY!
Beloved: Jesus calls YOU by name! He calls you because You are HIS! Let Him become Your primary focus, so you are filled with JOY!

Heavenly Father, thank You for letting me hear these words yesterday. I ask—in Your Son's name—that this message brings conviction (to seek You first), recognition (so we understand how distress and the unexpected cloud our thinking/perceptions), and hope (with Your Son as our focus, we are filled with JOY!)!

AMEN!!!

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