It was a Sunday when Mary Magdalene made the early morning walk to Jesus' tomb. She likely had more than spices on her mind.
Jesus had stilled her inner storm—he'd freed her from the demons that had once made chaos her everyday normal (Mark 16:9). But now he was dead. Hearing her sandals slap along the path on her way to the tomb where his dead body lay, did she wonder if evil had somehow won?
Finding the tomb empty, seeking a male disciple to help her, watching him dash about and then leave her weeping alone at the maw of the mountain, Mary was depleted. Wiped. Drawn. Lifeless. Like the teacher she had followed.
Mary's bewilderment grew when a man began to speak behind her. She didn't recognize him at first, until she heard him say, "Mary."
Whirling around she cried, "Rabboni!"
Mary sank down, clinging to the source of her sanity, her soul's emancipator, her beloved teacher (Matthew 28:9). The Messiah who freed her didn't demand she stand on her own; he let Mary collapse. He allowed her, for that moment, simply to enjoy his presence. We can picture the spices rolling from her hands, her day's intentions disappearing, as she found her soul's replenishment and purpose in Jesus' presence.
Jesus' nearness sustained and emboldened her; her weeping was transformed into courage as she proclaimed Christ's resurrection: "I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18).
Mary's Resurrection Sunday encounter can shape and form our understanding of the Sabbath. We may come to the Sabbath wiped out, exhausted, or perhaps even weeping. But in the Sabbath we can encounter the risen Lord. Our souls can be replenished and emboldened to live in obedience. The remaining days of the week our lives can proclaim, "I have seen the Lord!"
Consider: How often do I allow myself to collapse in weakness at Jesus' feet?
Read: John 20:1-18
Pray: God, thank you for being my rest and refuge, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Help me to more fully experience your renewing presence, and guide me as I continue to surrender my will to you.
Act: Practice resting in God. Take five minutes each day to envision yourself running to Jesus' open arms. As you rest in his presence, thank him for his nearness and the blessings he's given you.
Excerpted from the Everyday Matters Bible for Women, copublished by Hendrickson Publishers and Christianity Today.