“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” John 20:2, NIV.
Illustrations and metaphors fall short when trying to explain Jesus’ death and resurrection.
In the past, I confess to having used the idea of winter’s sleeping trees and flowers awakening to the springtime as an analogy for the Easter celebration. While spring is beautiful and always reminds me of new earthly life, the analogy cannot adequately capture the new life that Jesus Christ offers. Human logic cannot explain it and no tangible example, no matter how magnificent, can epitomize the depth of love represented by the cross and empty grave.
Three days after the crucifixion, Mary Magdalene, a former prostitute before meeting Jesus, and close friend to the disciples, came to His tomb and found it empty. Confused and believing Jesus’ body had been stolen, she ran to tell the disciples. After checking out Mary’s story, the disciples went home, but Mary remained at the empty tomb, crying.
Looking into the empty grave one more time, Mary saw two figures sitting where only the burial cloth lay. Upon asking her why she is crying, Mary expresses her concern over the missing body of her dearest friend. When she turns around and sees someone she believes to be the gardener, once again, Mary asks the stranger where the body has been taken so she can get him. With this, Jesus called out her name, “Mary.” At once, she recognized Him!
Jesus Christ is as alive today as on the third day after the crucifixion. He is as close to you now as when Mary turned around and recognized Him. She was looking for Jesus, and she found Him. What about you? Are you looking for Jesus? He is not hiding. Jesus wants to be recognized! He is calling your name. Turn around.
Jesus is risen! I pray that you will seek Him because He loves you more than you could possibly comprehend. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus!