“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’” John 20:16a (NIV)
Most of us are familiar with John’s account of Jesus’ resurrection. We know that our faith depends on a Savior who was crucified and then defeated death, rose
again, and now lives forever as our friend, advocate, and guide. In the scripture reference listed above we read the first thing he said after his resurrection, only one word, the name,
Our names are important to us. We all listen when our names are mentioned. We identify with our name. We relate to others by our name. To
some degree our names define who we are. Can you imagine then what must have been going through Mary’s mind when this “gardener” called her by name? Immediately her whole outlook
changed. No longer was she searching for a dead friend. No longer did tears wrack her body in the face of death. At just that moment, she entered into the intimacy of Jesus’
love. At once her mourning was changed into joy. Suddenly light and life banished darkness and despair. Her world that was turned upside down had been turned right side up
And you know something friends, that is what the presence of Jesus in our lives can do for us as well! Jesus knows our names. We are special to
him. He loves us. He desires a relationship with us, just like one we would have with our closest friend. And that relationship and closeness can make all the difference in our
lives just like it did in Mary’s. Imagine the hope and love that were in her heart after she saw the risen Lord! Without a doubt, all the problems and concerns in her life were
overshadowed by the hope and fulfillment she felt that day. And her hope continued, because she knew Jesus would continue to be there and she would see him often.
Jesus' resurrection did not just guarantee us life after death, it gave us a living friend, a confidant, a guide, and a helper for every day of our lives.
That’s why I want to challenge you this Easter, to desire a closer relationship with the living Christ, to cultivate a daily relationship that is not confined to a few prayers before we go to work in
the morning or a few verses of Scripture before we go to bed at night. Because when we work on our relationship with Jesus – and it is work, as we are often distracted by our daily tasks,
worries, or self-concerns – he becomes a wonderful source of love, assurance, and blessing, to us and to others as Christ works in us and through us to his good pleasure. Happy Easter my friends,
Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed!