Before the break of daylight, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came running and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord! What a joyful event that must have been even though it was still dark. How did Mary Magdalene react to seeing an empty tomb? As shocked as she must been at that time, she ran quickly to meet Him! She first noticed how the stone had been taken away from the sepulcher, and wondered where her Lord had been laid. What did the empty tomb mean to Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and to all others who were gathered? What does it mean to us today?
All who saw the linen cloths and the napkin on His head believed. They still did not understand from scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. To us today as our faith is ever increasing, we can join in with the words of the prophet Isaiah who said we have been redeemed by the Lord, called by name and that we are His! What will He do for us in trying times? He is with us at all times. Some startling examples from Isaiah may include passing through waters (deep troubles), through rivers (more troubles) and through fire (hopeless situations).
Isaiah 43 tells us to fear not for the Lord is with us and that He will not let high waters (troubles) overflow us nor let us be burned by flames (more troubles) that might kindle upon us! But Mary Magdalene stood nearby weeping as she saw two angels who had been placed there by God just as He does so many times for us today as we too hear His voice and need angelic help. Jesus later said “… blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John tells us that Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not recorded in the Bible. These however are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that we may have eternal life through Him.
Everyone who saw Jesus after the Resurrection believed, including Thomas who needed specific physical evidence. Today we see proof of Jesus’ presence daily in all phases of our lives. From joyous occasions to times of tearful weeping, we must see Jesus as the answer to our prayers. The empty tomb is definitely not the end of the story. Mary Magdalene told the disciples what she had seen and heard and was willing to share with believers. Let us continue to look to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith.
Can we imagine being in a locked room and Jesus appearing anyway? Thomas and other disciples met and Jesus appeared and stood among them. Jesus can be anywhere we need Him. Let us strive to be ready to receive His commission as disciples to do His will and receive His salvation!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.