So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."John 20:2(NASB)
Mary Magdalene was one of the women who went to the tomb early in the morning, on the first day of the week. She had been at Golgotha the previous Friday and wept as she saw her Saviour crucified on a cruel Roman cross. She watched, with the other women, to see where the body of Jesus was laid. She waited until the early hours of the morning to prepare her spices and she set out with the other women, very early in the morning - while it was still dark. Together they were going to anoint the body of their beloved - but dead Saviour.... or so they thought!
The women knew that a great stone lay on the mouth of the sepulchre. They knew it was sealed and well-guarded, and they knew that it was far too heavy for them to move. Nevertheless, they prepared spices to anoint the dead, as was the custom. But on arrival at the tomb, Mary was overtaken with shock and anguish, when she saw that the stone had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty.
Immediately Mary assumed someone had stolen the body of Jesus and she left the other women, and ran to the lodgings of the disciples to tell them of this heartbreaking happening. "So Mary ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 'They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.'"
Mary had a great love for her Lord, for He had cast seven demons out of her body, some years before. The one who is forgiven much is the one who loves much and Mary loved her Lord with a deep passion, for she knew the great gift of Salvation that Christ had brought into her life. But like the other disciples and the rest of the women, Mary had forgotten all that Jesus had told them - that He would be crucified and handed over to the Gentiles... that He would be mocked and mistreated, insulted and spat upon.
She did not recall that He also said that after having being scourged, they would kill Him. BUT on the third day, He would rise again from the dead. Like the other disciples, Mary had adopted a human mindset with a limited perspective that sidelined the Word of the Lord and His eternal plan. She substituted her own preconceived imaginings for the Word of truth, and like the other disciples, Mary lived through those difficult days by sight and not by faith!
Had she and the other disciples heeded Christ's words, they would have known that this darkest stain on the history of the world would break forth into the most brilliant eternal day of joy and rejoicing, in which death is swallowed up in victory. Jesus had tried to tell them that first He must endure the cross before He could wear the crown. First He had to endure the humiliation but soon He would be granted the greatest honour of all. First He had to come as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world before He could come as the Lamb on the throne - Who opens the seven-sealed scroll and restores all that Adam's fallen race had forfeited, in the beginning.
Mary may have had a problematic past, but she also had a great love for the Lord and her past sins did not disqualify her from being the first person, recorded in Scripture, to see the risen Lord Jesus Christ, in Person. But even this woman preferred to be influenced by the circumstances that surrounded her, rather than believing all that the Scriptures said about Jesus and all that He had told them about His sacrificial death for the sins of the world and His glorious resurrection - on the third day.
Mary's love for Jesus is something about which we rejoice greatly. Love for our Lord and love for others is the new, and better commandment that Christ has given to all who are saved by grace through faith in Him. But I wonder how different things would have been if Mary, and the other disciples, had lived through those three days - expectantly waiting for Christ's prophesied resurrection from the dead, just as He had told them beforehand.
May our own, personal love for the Lord grow and develop and increase, with every passing day, but may we also take to heart ALL that is written within the Word of God, trust all that He has told us, and live our lives by faith in His Word and not by the circumstances that surround us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that no one is beyond Your ability and desire to be saved by grace through faith in Christ, and thank You that You are ready and willing to use anyone whose heart is open towards You. Increase my longing and love for You and help me to live by faith and not by sight. Thank You that Your Word is altogether true and trustworthy and prevent me from being influenced by the circumstances that surround me rather than looking to Jesus and trusting Your Word. Thank You that I have been born anew and placed into Your eternal family. Look down in compassion and grace on lost souls and bring many more into Your kingdom. This I pray for Christ's sake, AMEN.