Serving Our Risen Lord

I have been waiting for Resurrection Sunday for the longest time now. It has always been one of my favorite days.

Recently I was contemplating the account from the morning of the Resurrection and Mary’s loyalty to her Savior.

I was struck with her devotion to Christ. Something to remember is that Jesus had delivered Mary from seven demons living inside her.

I can only begin to imagine the sorrow that must have torn her heart into pieces as she watched the Roman soldiers crucify the One who had redeemed her. The Bible tells us that she was standing near the cross when Jesus was crucified.

But through the account of the crucifixion and resurrection, I see some beautiful characteristics within her that I think every believer should have.

She Had Devotion

The Bible says that she went to the tomb early on the first day of the week. That is a very important thing to notice about her.

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early,when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”

John 20:1

It was still dark when she made her way to the garden to anoint Christ’s body with spices. Why did she need to come so early? Couldn’t anointing his body wait until later in the day? Surely she had other things she needed to get done first thing in the morning.

I would imagine she was probably tired. The previous three days had been a nightmare, in human terms. Let’s put this in perspective, shall we? When my Great-Grandpa died several years ago, my family and I were physically and emotionally exhausted for some time after that. Grief wears a person down in ways beyond words. The immediate days that followed afterward were just one big blur of tiredness and mourning. We pretty much wanted to just be able to grieve and not deal with responsibilities in our lives.

I can easily imagine that Mary must have been tired from the events of the previous days. Think about it: she had watched her Savior be crucified. Roman crucifixions were brutal and horrendous sights for anyone to watch, much less someone who was close to the One being crucified.

I think she was probably broken up over the death of Jesus. He had seen value and worth in her when no one else had. After all, she had been demon possessed. We know from the account of the Maniac of Gadara, that the people feared him and wanted nothing to do with him. I have to think that Mary probably experienced the same embarrassment and rejection.

Here she was—tired, heartbroken, and probably scared. But she came first thing in the morning. She was so devoted to serving and honoring Christ that she rose early on that Sunday morning to go to the place where they had laid him and anoint his body with spices.

It makes me think of the Proverbs 31 woman.

“She riseth also while it is yet night…”

Proverbs 31:15

Because of her devotion, she was among the first few to see the risen Christ!

She was Passionate

I see her extreme fervor for Christ in how she reacted to the empty tomb. When she found the stone rolled away and the body of Jesus gone, she wept openly and freely.

“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,”

John 20:11

Some focus on this being a lack of faith on her part, considering how Jesus had told his disciples during his earthly ministry that he was going to rise again. This may be true. But to be quite honest, you and I would have probably done the exact same thing.

I think that Mary’s brokenness at the tomb revealed her love and passion for Christ. She was emotional over the fact that her Savior had died for her. Don’t you think that she felt deeply the redeeming work of Christ? She was once not only in the chains of sin, but she was demon possessed. I can’t imagine the full weight of relief she felt when she was delivered from the demons that were inside her.

When the angels saw her weeping they asked, “Woman, why weepest thou?”

She answered, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”

Mary must have had a wonderful love for her Savior to respond in such a manner.

She was vocal

I think one of the most beautiful parts of the entire account involving Mary is when she sees Jesus near the tomb.

“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back,and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”

John 20:14-15

The Bible doesn’t tell us why, but at first Mary didn’t recognize Jesus. She thought that he was the gardener who kept the tombs. But then He said her name.

“Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”

John 20:16

One word from her Master and instantly Mary recognized Him. Can you imagine what that moment must have been for her? The victory and triumph present at that moment of time must have been insurmountable.

She didn’t simply revel in the knowledge of her Risen Savior though. She went and told others that He was alive!

“Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”

John 20:18

“And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.”

Mark 16:10

Mary could not contain the joy overflowing from within her over the good news that Jesus is alive!

What if we had the same devotion for Christ, that we would give Him the first part of our day? What if we had the same passion for Him, that we would be broken over His death required by our sinful state? What if we could not keep from telling the glorious message that Jesus Christ is alive?

As we celebrate our Risen Savior today, may we determine to serve Him with more passion than ever before.

A. M. Watson

Hebrews 13:8

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s