Forgetting Easter (Faith like Mary in Moments of Doubt)
Gloryanna is a soul sister. Her writing is a source of encouragement, specifically in my marriage, and her love for the Lord is evident in all that she does. I’m so excited to share with you her reflection on the Resurrection and how it still is impacting our lives. Take a moment to check out her site here for regular encouragement. Her series right now on prayer encouragement is not to be missed!
I’ve always wondered what those moments were like for Mary Magdalene when she found the empty tomb.
I imagine when she saw the massive stone had been rolled away, fear grabbed at her heart. Fear of the unknown raced through her thoughts. Where was his body? Who took it? Why would they do that? What do we do now?
Almost instinctively, she ran back to a couple disciples and told them what she saw. They all ran back to the tomb.
Frenzy. Panic. Uncertainty. Fear. No one knew what was going on.
I imagine it was like the moment when a groom stands up on stage, adjusts his shoulders, takes a deep breath, expecting his soon-to-be wife to come walking down the aisle. Only, the bride’s sister flings open the sanctuary doors, runs down the aisle, and announces the bride has disappeared.
Frenzy. Panic. Uncertainty. Fear.
After the disciples leave the empty tomb, there’s another brief moment when Mary is alone.
When Fear Fights for Our Faith
She touches the walls, catching her hands on jagged edges of rock. Her mind racing with fear and wonder. Was he really the Messiah like I thought? What if everything we’ve done was for nothing? What if we lose our family? End up in jail? What if the man whom I’ve been following was an incredible fake?
Everything she knew about Jesus to be true, even the promise of his resurrection, all forgotten in her moment of fear.
The Man who delivered her from demons, who quite literally saved her life, was gone. The man whose feet she washed with her very own hair and most prized oils, was no longer there for her to touch, to reassure her that her freedom was true.
An empty tomb meant empty faith since she no longer had her Savior to hold.
Sometimes, we feel like we’re stuck, searching in an empty tomb. Fear screams at our faith and we forget what we know about Jesus to be true. We forget about the times he saved us from the darkness of that grave.
How often are we stuck wondering and fearing in a dark, empty tomb?
Mary walks outside the tomb, weeping her heart out. Her faith is so confused she doesn’t even realize when two angels appear before her as they ask her why she’s crying.
As if confirming her doubt, she says, “they have taken my Lord away…and I don’t know where they have put him” (John 20 NIV). Then, Jesus appeared to her but she did not recognize him.
The man who delivered her from death, who held her hand while she washed his feet with oil, who likely spent hours upon hours upon hours teaching her God’s truth, appeared as a stranger to her during one of the darkest moments in her life.
She could not see her redeemer alive before her very eyes because what she thought about Jesus took precedence over what was actually true of him: he had risen from the dead.
When He Calls Us by Name
Tears falling fully down her face, she barely looks at Jesus. Fear doesn’t give up easily and fights for her thoughts. No, no, he’s gone. My Lord, my Savior, he’s gone. What will we do? What will I do? What if they think I’m demon-possessed again? How will I make a living? Where will I go? Will they cast me out?
“Mary,” Jesus says.
Her racing thoughts jolt. Her eyes widen. She gasps with hope. “Teacher!” she cries and bows before him, grabbing hold of his feet for dear life, afraid he might leave again.
Fear slowly cracks, pieces falling to the ground as she hears him call her by name. The world grows quiet as Jesus’s truth takes hold of her heart again.
He called her by name and she ran out of that grave.
Forgetting God’s Faithfulness
It’s been only a month since we celebrated Easter. We give ourselves one weekend out of the whole year to officially recognize the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. I always feel comfort, confidence, and love while I spend time remembering the empty tomb.
Yet here I am today, facing uncertainty in my life, wondering where God is when the world feels like it’s on fire all around me. The resurrection sometimes feels far away.
Sometimes, I forget the tomb was empty. Not that I actually forget Jesus rose from the grave, but I assume the world’s truths over the resurrecting power.Sometimes, I forget the tomb was empty. Not that I actually forget Jesus rose from the grave, but I assume the world’s truths over the resurrecting power. Click To Tweet
I feel like my ear is pressed up against the wall of God’s truth as I strain to hear him call me by name while I’m standing in a room full of a demanding life. Motherhood pulls on my emotions. Marriage squeezes what love I have to give. Working weighs heavy on my heart.
And all the while, I squint my eyes, leaning as much as I can against the wall, with my ear pressed hard. I grab as much of God’s word as I can.
I listen as he calls me by name.
But how easily do we forget his calling? How quickly are we to forget his faithfulness?
That he called me by name and I ran out of that grave.
I’m not sure there’s really a formula for this. How do we keep from forgetting?But I bet if you asked Mary, she’d repeat going to that tomb, uncertain, full of fear, only to hear him call her by name again from the other side of death. Click To Tweet
But I bet if you asked Mary, she’d repeat going to that tomb, uncertain, full of fear, only to hear him call her by name again from the other side of death.
We keep choosing to come back, every time he calls us by name.
We keep coming back to help us remember.
For Further Reading:
10 Ways to Celebrate Christ’s Resurrection (Beyond Easter Sunday)
10 Christian Books That Need to Be On Your Radar