At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. John 20:14
Nothing short of seeing Jesus would make Mary stop crying. Two angels appeared earlier, and though she experienced a conversation with heavenly beings, her weeping continued. She had a one-track mind, and it was focused on Jesus’ absence. She grieved that he was not where she expected him to be. Yet he was there. She simply didn’t recognize him.
Mary had a crisis of faith, as I do when I’m tossed by the storms of life. The roaring sound of the waves drowns out Jesus’ whispers. The fog and the mist obscure my sight of him. I think he’s missing yet he stands near. I weep for his absence though he has his arms securely around me. I accuse him of abandoning me but he has already moved heaven and earth to give me intimate access to him.
King David reassured me of this. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted.” Psalm 34:18 I may rest in this certainty. If I seek Jesus, he is near. My relationship with him is driven by faith, not by sight.
Mary would have been comforted if she had recovered the dead body of Jesus but Jesus gave her more than what she asked for. He appeared alive, not dead. We who seek heaven’s treasures always find riches beyond our wildest imagination. God gives us more than we could have dreamed of. He is generous, extravagant, and delights in giving lavish gifts. If we weep at our tomb of loss today, let’s hang on. Jesus is with us and our sorrow will turn to indescribable joy.
Lord, I trust that you’re here. You will reveal yourself in your time, by your mercy and by your loving-kindness. Amen