John 20:11 – 16 Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Mary Magdalene. Whew. This woman was made of some pretty stout stuff. If a couple of angels – angels! – spoke to me from a tomb, I would have been scared speechless. But not Mary! She had experienced some pretty hard things in her life, and she wasn’t about to be scared away by a couple of men in white. She came to find her Lord, and He was gone. Though she was distraught, she answered their question. “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
Then, some stranger – probably the gardener – asked her again. “Why are you crying?” I can just imagine her thoughts. Who cares why I’m crying? Why won’t they tell me where Jesus is? I need to see Him one more time. I need to touch Him. What have they done with my Lord?
But then, in her distress, she heard his voice.
Could it be? Was it really Him? Of course it was Him – she would know that voice anywhere! It was the voice of the One who knew her better than anyone, who had seen her heart when everyone else only saw her occupation.
And then, she did what every single one of us should do when He calls our name. She ran to Him.
Mary was looking in the wrong place for Jesus. He wasn’t in that tomb – He was alive! But Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Mary may have looked in the wrong place, but she wasn’t about to give up. She sought Him with her whole heart, and she found Him. Or rather, He found her, and called her by name.
Friends, are you looking for the Lord? Does He seem lost to you? Does He seem absent from your life? Well, keep looking. God promises that when we look for Him with all our hearts, we will find Him. Or rather, He will find us.
When we go looking for God, He will hear our cries. He is the One who sees us, who loves us in spite of our weaknesses, in spite of our failures, in spite of our past sins. He knows us better than anyone, and He calls us by name.
So keep looking, friends. One day soon, You may just look up to realize He’s been there all along.
Dear Father, Thank You for making Yourself known to me, and for calling me by name.