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Mary Magdalene's joy on Easter morning is a reminder to trust God's grace when facing your own sorrows.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” —John 20:15 (NRSV)
I think of Mary Magdalene journeying to the tomb at dawn. She has lost everything. The One Who had healed her has been agonizingly crucified, dying by inches over long hours. She knows because she watched. The One Who’d been her first real friend is gone.
Her hope—for herself, for her people, for all people—has been crushed. The prospect of an Israel delivered from the Romans is now a cruel joke. The people who had accepted and welcomed her are dispersed, cowering in their hiding places like terrified children.
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After dutifully keeping the Sabbath, she has spent the night preparing spices and oils for Jesus’ body. And now, when it seems things could not possibly be worse, His body is not in the tomb. It’s been stolen!
Mary turns, and in the dim, morning mist, she sees a stranger. Is this the thief? But, no! He murmurs her name, and now she knows: “Rabbi!”
I pray that my life, my prospects, never become as dark, as despairing, as Mary’s were that morning. But sooner or later, they will to some degree. And that is when I must remember Mary. That is when I must recall a glimmer, just a pale reflection, of Mary’s glorious dawn. That day, as much as today, will be my Easter.
Lord, my rejoicing today knows no bounds. Remind me of this Easter joy when I have most need of it.
This devotion is excerpted from Daily Guideposts.