But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. John 20:11, 12
*I was listening to Evangelist Tom Gilliam give a series of messages on Discipleship 101 yesterday, and the Lord gave me the following blog entry to write in regards to what He taught me through one of Brother Tom's messages. The link to Brother Tom's web site is listed to the right. Feel free to visit his site where you can listen to more of his messages or find out if he'll be in your area soon.*
I'm familiar with the verse that says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.." (I Peter 5:6) But did you ever stop and think about how this is reflected in Mary's response at the tomb? (as quoted in John 20: 11, 12.)
Remember, in the above passage, that Mary had reported that the stone had been moved away from the tomb. So, Peter and John went running to the tomb to investigate! John and Peter raced towards the tomb...one can only imagine what was running through their minds at this point! John actually outran Peter. (Personally, I found that to be worth noting. I've not read any commentaries regarding this, but to me, Peter has always been painted as the physical, brutish man...and John, well, he was "the One Whom Jesus loved." When briefly comparing Peter and John's personalities, I formed the opinion that they were polar opposites. That's why it was a bit surprising to me to read that John got to the tomb first. I wonder if Peter was haunted by the way he had denied the Lord just a few days before, and was a bit "hesitant" to arrive at the tomb first??)
Hmmm... That's worth some digging, but to keep from hOpPiNg off on another rabbit trail, I must go back to my original point. :o) Mary reports the stone being rolled away. Peter and John run to investigate. John arrives at the tomb first. What does John do? Verse five states, "And he stooping DOWn, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. But look at verse six:
Now...let's go on to Mary. Verse ten follows with: "Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre.." But don't miss this: When she looked in, what did she see? Verse twelve says Mary saw "two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain" Do you wonder if her stooping down, and shedding tears had something to do with her eyes being opened to see a larger miracle than what the men saw?? Curious isn't it? John stooped, and when he finally went in, he "believed." Simon Peter--well, he just rushed in, checked
things out, and just saw the "obvious." He saw nothing with his heart. Mary, humble and broken, was allowed to see more than just the linen clothes..she saw two angels! But after she had answered the angels and she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing there. She didn't realize it was Him at first. Jesus asked her why she is crying and whom she is seeking. Supposing Jesus was the gardener, she "offered to take the body of Jesus away." That's when He spoke her name! And she KNEW! "Rabboni!" (Master!) Mary was the first one to SEE Jesus!
I'd be willing to say that Mary would gladly encourage each and every one of us to humble ourselves at the tomb of our circumstances...life may seem to be totally devastated, it may seem that we have nothing left to live for! But humble your heart! Shed some tears and weep! Weeping may last for a night, but J O Y comes in the MORNING! When we do humble ourselves, in HIS TIME, HE WILL LIFT US UP! Oh the JOY of seeing our Risen Savior first and foremost! He wants to reveal Himself, in all His glory, to YOU TOO! Start stooping, and then you'll soon be SEEING!
Dear Father, thank You for showing us this wonderful "lesson within a lesson." The Lesson of Trusting in our Risen Savior, but also of humbling ourselves, realizing our grief, bringing it to YOU, and waiting on YOU to reveal YOURSELF MIGHTILY in our lives! We humbly await, with tears in our eyes, to see YOU. We can hardly wait to hear You calling out our names! Thank You, Father for loving us to send Your Son, and thank YOU, dear Jesus for coming, dying and defeating death for us...Please speak our names even T O D A Y! And of course, we can not forget You, dear Holy Spirit, for revealing these truths to us. Create in us a hunger for YOUR WORD and make Your Word R E A L to our hearts each and every day.
In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen.