“Early in the morning while it was still dark.” That is when Mary Magdalene went to visit Jesus’ tomb. It is likely she had no idea what she would do when she got there. The great stone would be blocking the entrance, and the other women who would assist with anointing his body would not arrive for some time. So in the darkness of her grief, Mary would wait, and she would mourn the death of Jesus.
Today, many still live in darkness. Some are lost in grief and time does not bring healing. Others suffer the darkness of loneliness, love escapes them, and relationships seem distant. Still others walk in the darkness of addiction, divorce, anger or neglect. Such is the weight of darkness. It steals away joy from those who cannot escape its grip, and it robs people of hope, casting doubt on the future. Darkness; that is what Mary felt as she made her way to the tomb.
In her darkness, Mary imagined the worst, that Jesus’ body had been stolen. In their darkness, Peter and John believed, but did not understand. It seemed the darkness of Jesus death would only become more intense, and the absence of light and life appeared to lay claim upon their future hope. Only a risen Lord can dispel such darkness.
As the first rays of sunlight pierced the darkness of Jesus’ tomb, the darkness of the grave was overcome. As the great stone was rolled away, death gave way to life. In a moment, the light of the resurrection obliterated the darkness of death. As she cried out in her grief, Jesus uttered one little word that would change her forever. The Lord said “Mary.”
O Lord Jesus, call me by name and lift me out of the darkness of sin and into the light of your resurrection. Amen.