What a glorious promise! Jesus, who himself rose from the dead, offers the same possibility for all who believe in him. The apostle Paul reminds us this way: “I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven” (Ephesians 1:19-20 CEV).
The Bible leaves no doubt. We have full access to God’s amazing power of resurrection. While we readily accept what that means for life after death, we sometimes forget what it means for our everyday life here on earth.
Mary Magdalene experienced that power on the first Easter morning. John’s gospel tells us that when she went to the tomb, she immediately realized something was different. The stone had been rolled away and Jesus’ body was no longer there. Though his burial shroud lay to the side and two angels appeared and spoke to her directly, Mary still grieved. She was so overwhelmed by heartache, she could see nothing but the loss.
Jesus came to her and asked, “Woman, why are you weeping” (John 20:15). But even then, Mary failed to recognize the hope that stood right in front of her. Not until Jesus spoke her name did she finally look up and see the wonderful truth.
Perhaps you understand how Mary felt. You know what it’s like to be so devastated by loss, so pressed down by life, or so bereft of hope that you cannot see the promise that awaits you. Take heart. Jesus stands before you now, as he did with Mary Magdalene. He’s calling your name, waiting for you to lift up your face and rejoice in the power of new life he offers.
May this Easter bring you the new life and hope you so desperately seek, and may you be comforted knowing that “the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you” (I Peter 5:10).
*The rest of Mary’s Easter experience is found in John 20:1-18.