11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb” (John 20:11).  The depiction of Mary here is so genuine because we can relate so easily to Mary’s behavior.  Something is missing from where we usually keep it.  We search a bit to find it and then go back to the spot where it should be just to make sure it is really missing.  Mary bent over a put her head once again into the small tomb, just to make sure Jesus’ body was still really missing and that she did not just imagine it was missing.  Mary seemed almost hopeful she would see Jesus’ body where she thought it belonged. Only this time as Mary looked into the tomb seeking Jesus, Mary was surprised by the appearance of two angels seated where Jesus’ body should be.

          Mary’s mind must have been whirling.  Jesus crucified.  Earthquakes.  Jesus’ dead and buried.  Grief. Another earthquake this morning.  Large stones rolled from the tomb.  Guards alive but looking dead.  An empty tomb.  Grief. And now angels!  What else could there be? And then in that moment of confusion and tears, the Bible says Mary’s attention was drawn to something, someone was behind her.  “14 Mary turned around and saw someone standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.  15 He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, Mary said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him [Jesus] away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She [Mary] turned toward him [Jesus] and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (John 20:14-16).

          We should soak in Mary’s emotions in that moment. The intense and chaotic pain, despair, suffering, confusion, helplessness, disappointment, dread, and exhaustion of the last three days instantly evaporated at Jesus’ calling her name.  All those dreadfully powerful emotions were replaced with powerful uplifting feelings of elation, hope, thankfulness, and joy.  The terrible ordeal was over.  The empty tomb meant one thing and one thing only, Jesus was alive!  There was no time to think beyond that and this moment. Mary could do only one thing and that was to jump forward and grabbed hold of the feet of Jesus.   

Mary response gives us insight into how believers will react when they see Jesus and here Jesus call them by name.  I do not believe there will be time or ability to compose words.  There will be just total and complete relief and joy of having been very very blessed as the believer grabs hold of the feet of Jesus.

Mary was the first to feel the blessing of the risen Christ.  The empty tomb which had been such a terrible ordeal of preparation was now a joy to behold.  One could come to the empty tomb now and see where Jesus lay.  They could come to the empty tomb and hear words of peace and joy. They could come to the empty tomb and touch the stone and folded shroud of Jesus.  They could do all those things with joy because it all meant Christ the Lord had risen!

Mary now had one task in life, share the news and meaning of the empty tomb, “Jesus has risen from the dead! He is risen!  He is risen! He is risen!”  For the believer in Jesus Christ, we have received the same one task.  Share the news, “He is risen!  He has risen indeed!”  An empty tomb is there to prove my savior lives!  Is this the call you feel upon your life as well?