Peace from God
Jesus’s tomb is empty. Mary Magdalene is in grief ("loud wailing" denoted by the Greek), desperate to find Jesus, her Lord. Jesus had set her free from her bondage to seven demons. Mary has a great love and gratitude for Jesus’ care for her. Her deep grief indicates the deep emotional connection and bonding she had with Jesus. The angels and Jesus both meet her at her point of need and ask her why she is crying. Jesus - whom she thinks is the gardener - still tries to meet her at her point of need, asking her whom she is trying to find. Then, recorded in verse 16, “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’” Jesus brings her back to their emotional connection by calling her name. “She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabonni’ (which means ‘Teacher’).” The point of recognition occurs when Jesus speaks her name.
Do you always recognize and hear Jesus when He is near and calling your name? How many times do we not hear or remember that He is always near? I often confess and ask God to forgive me for letting the things of this world get in the way of my focus on Him and for not listening when He is speaking to me. Jesus wants to meet us at our point of need, as He did with Mary Magdalene.
Jesus asks Mary to not hold on to Him, because He needs to ascend to their Father and God. Now Mary has seen and heard from her Lord, she has the peace of God to let Him go to the Father. She has the peace that can transcend our understanding and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Jesus is always waiting to meet us at our point of need. Will we hear Him calling our name, so we can recognize that He is near to give us His peace, because He is with the Father and His Holy Spirit comes?
Jesus “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me ---” (John 10:3b; 14). Jesus is always near to meet all of our needs when we keep looking and listening for Him. “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’” (John 20:19b). Will you keep looking and listening for Him?
Marcia Moskal is a caregiver for the Formational Prayer Seminars at Ashland Theological Seminary. She graduated from ATS with a degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling. She is passionate about positioning people to find healing and growth in the presence of Jesus and lives out this calling through her own counseling ministry.