There are those of you for whom Easter Sunday was not a celebration. You sat through the service. Listened to the Choir sing the celebratory anthem. Sang the familiar hymns. Recited the familiar scripture. And, heard the resurrection story. Yet, you did not feel joy or celebration of any sort. You may have wondered what was wrong with you. Or, wondered why you didn’t feel what others seem to be experiencing.
Let me ask you a question…
Have you Chosen to See Christ?
In John 20:1-19 it says this,
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was a gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
Mary Magdalene, a devout follower of Christ, was a woman whom Jesus had healed from 7 demons. (Luke 8:2) Her devotion was a result of his love and care for her. He saw beyond her demons; He saw her for who she truly was in Christ. Upon his resurrection, Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. She was the one to deliver the news of Jesus’ resurrection to the Disciples – in fact Jesus instructed her to.
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news:“I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:17, 18)
Jesus calls her by name, “Mary”. She fully recognizes her Savior. She knows his voice. Her despair at finding an empty tomb turns to utter joy and inexpressible peace at the sound of His Voice.
He rescued her from 7 demons, and she chose to see him, to trust him with her life. Mary Magdalene’s life story is an Easter Story of Resurrection – a broken life made new.
For those of you who struggle at Easter to partake in the celebration, know that you are not alone. I have struggled, too. I have sat in church year after year wondering why I didn’t feel anything, why my heart was empty of joy and passion. Christ was patient with me. I learned to listen for his voice. He called my name, and I chose to see Him.
Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to seek healing from the Great Healer and you will find it. Jesus came to clear the clutter from our lives so that we can find our way home to Him. All for the purpose of having a new life in Christ. You must believe that this can and will happen for you. The joy on Easter morning that you long for, will follow belief. Practice belief and the feelings will follow. I promise.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Draw near to Christ through the study of Scripture, prayer, and fellowship with other followers of Christ. Spend time in relationship with Him so that when He calls you by name, you will know his voice.
You, too, can be an Easter Story of Resurrection, a life made whole in Christ.
Choose to see Christ.