Last night, Dave spoke movingly about the life of Mary Magdalene. A woman from Magdala, a wealthy city, Mary’s life was transformed when she met Jesus and was delivered of demons who had controlled her life and led her to live in ways that were harmful to herself and others. (Luke 8:1-3) She became one of the many women who followed Jesus as a result of this and was one of those who went to prepare His body with spices following His death. John 20:1-18 tells us how she went to the tomb very early in the morning, while it was still dark and saw, to her astonishment, that the stone was rolled away from the tomb.
Mary ran to tell Peter and the other disciples of this fact, and we can imagine her bewilderment and confusion. On her return, however, she saw angels seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. At this stage, there was no thought of resurrection in her mind; she assumed the body had been moved and was distraught that she could not do for Jesus what she had planned to do out of respect and love. Then she saw a man, whom she assumed to be the gardener. Both the angels and this man asked her why she was crying, but it was only when this man said her name, ‘Mary’, that she realised this was Jesus Himself, risen from the dead.
Jesus’ resurrection transforms everything, but this encounter reminds us that He knows us and calls us by name (see Is 43:1). We can be thankful that we too are called by name and that His life can now transform our lives, just as He did with Mary.