I have found myself in the last few days residing in a place I don’t often visit. I am at a loss for words. Not just a lack of what to say, but really more of a holy hush. Every Resurrection season I try to articulate the overwhelming love and gratitude I feel toward Jesus, my fully human and fully Divine Savior, and every season I am woefully inadequate. How exactly do you put into words what it means to be rescued from yourself by the One who has overcome the world? How do you say thank you for being ushered into the Most Holy Place by the Promise wearing flesh?
I ask these questions of myself as I fully celebrate the Empty Tomb and know that life outside those walls of rock is meant to be lived to the full. John 10:10 is so clear. The thief, the prince of the air, seeks to kill and destroy, but our Jesus has dealt him the death blow. He has purchased life, abundant life, for those who will believe. (Everything in my heart is shouting Amen!) But even as I engage my mind in the freedom dance my Savior has bought for me this is the question I sit with: What would I know of the abundant life, what would I see of Him, if I truly began to live life outside the tomb?
If you have been reading the blog you know that I have such love for Rahab and I think, when we consider that the “innkeeper” became the great-great…grandma of the Savior, she illustrates “the inheritance that we cannot conceive or imagine” in living color. But my kindred affection is not limited to the Old Testament. No, it crosses over the Covenant line and falls with awe on the head of Mary Magdalene. Some suppose that she and Rahab shared a common profession, I have no idea if that is fact or historical surmising. The Scriptures never say what Mary Magdalene did for a living. But what the Holy Writ does say about her is that she was a tormented, afflicted soul who was held in complete bondage by seven demons and the Savior set her completely free. Doesn’t that make your heart dance? The redemption of Rahab and the release of Mary Magadalene – have you ever gazed upon two more beautiful women?
Well, Sister this is what I believe – you and I were meant for that same radiance. They reflected His grace and His mercy and we, when we dare to live life outside the tomb, will undoubtedly do the same. Mary Magdalene did not simply say “thanks for the healing!” and go about her life. Her whole life after meeting Him was consumed by Him. Think about it. She followed Him wherever He went. She was the last at the Cross and the first at the Tomb. She pursued Him! She looked for Him! AND HE WOULD BE FOUND!
Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she 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 Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Oh, Girlfriend, please don’t read that last verse too quickly. Let the moment settle on you. The One she came to anoint with burial spices, the One she thought she had lost, the One she called LORD was saying her name. . . And as the Shepherd spoke, she recognized His voice. Put yourself in her sandals as she turned her face to meet His. Hear His voice say your name and let the comprehension that He KNOWS you flood your heart. You have to believe that as much as we might want to grab a hold of that moment, anything we can imagine about the love that passed between the two of them, the Healer and the healed, would fall dramatically short. Does the sight not take your breath away? That is the first encounter Mary Magdalene had with Jesus outside the Tomb. She had heard His voice countless times. She had seen His face daily. But never like this. And then He entrusted her to be the first to spread the Good News – He is Risen!
See that’s who I want to be. I want to be the woman who realizes the depth of her healing so profoundly that she refuses to return to her home and stays just a little longer. I want to be the one who weeps because my heart cannot stand the fact that I am not near Him. I want to be the one who desires to see Him so badly that I stoop down and strain my eyes in hopes of getting just one more glimpse. I know that one day He will say my name in Glory, one day He will say your name in Glory. We will recognize His voice and Beloved when we turn, oh the love that will pass between the Healer and the healed. But in the meantime Sister, for the redeemed and the released, there is life outside the tomb – abundant life. Live it to the full Girlfriend. Live it to the full.