(This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Win the Day…Flip the Script – LISTEN HERE)
One word changed her day from defeat to victory.
It was not a great weekend.
Her friend in whom she had invested time, energy and effort was condemned to die and crucified on a Roman cross. The agony of burying his body was compounded by the need to rush to complete before sundown and the beginning of the Passover Sabbath day. 24 long hours of waiting, doing nothing and able to do nothing other than opine about Jesus being dead and the hopes that were had for his kingdom restored. As soon as the first hint of dawn arrived, she and a few other ladies took their spices and ointments and headed to the tomb to finish honoring the body of a friend and rabbi.
As they approached, the tomb that was heavily sealed and guarded was open. What could have happened? Who could have done this to open the tomb and steal the body of Jesus? Insult was added to the already deep injury of losing a loved friend.
Mary of Magdala didn’t wait to get inside the tomb – she left.
Only to wander back a bit later. Distraught. Crying. Beside herself as to what to do next.
A man approached her.
“Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Whether her heart and mind were so distracted with her story of a stolen body or Jesus simply hid his identity, she did not recognize Jesus. Until…
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
One word turned her day from one of extreme loss to one of extreme joy.
Of all the people in the world to be the first to see Jesus alive, Mary was it. Into her sorrow and distress, Jesus same with not only the affirming love of his presence, but the personal love of his care for her.
In an instant, it didn’t matter that the stone was rolled away. It didn’t matter that Jesus died three days before. It didn’t matter that moments before she didn’t know how to move forward. It didn’t matter that she had abandoned the other ladies.
All that mattered was Jesus knew her, loved her, and appeared to her.
Jesus flipped the script.
Insert what is on your heart and mind today. You may have great stress over a health situation, a work situation, or a relationship situation. You may feel anxious about the future of the country, the world, or just your own family. You may be stuck as to how to move forward after being laid off, suffering a loss, or struggling with mental challenges.
What changes when you close your eyes and imagine seeing Jesus and him saying your name…
All of a sudden the story and the script playing in my mind changes to the enduring love, presence and faithfulness of Jesus. His presence is all I need. His promises are all I need to hold on to. His personal affirmation of me and my existence are all that really matter.
While the situation I’m facing doesn’t go away, I know Jesus is with me. While I may judge my identity on how others think or by the events that surround me, I know what matters is what Jesus thinks of me.
With one word, Jesus flips the script to remind me that no matter what today brings, I am loved, valued, gifted, child of Jesus.
And that’s the only opinion that counts.
Apply: Visualize Jesus appearing to you as he did to Mary. What changes in your mind and heart when you see Jesus and hear him call your name?
Prayer: Jesus thank you for caring so much for me that you would reach me personally with your presence, love and grace. AMEN.