The story of Mary Magdalene's visit to the empty tomb is captivating. As a child I loved to think about this lovely woman's encounter with the risen Lord.
It was early in the morning on the first day of the week after the Lord had been crucified and buried. Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb where He had been buried.
But when she arrived, she was astonished to discover the massive stone the Romans had placed over the opening, had been rolled away from the entrance. The official seal had been broken and the guards who'd been assigned to watch the tomb were nowhere to be found. The tomb was empty.
She must have been in a state of shock as she ran to where the disciples were gathered, to tell them the tomb was empty. Peter and another disciple didn't believe her, so they returned with her to the tomb, to see for themselves.
When they entered, Peter saw the discarded linen burial cloths. He must have been completely stunned to find the tomb was actually empty. Then the two men left together, leaving Mary outside the tomb weeping. Her eyes blurred with tears, she noticed someone standing nearby. It was the Lord, but she didn't recognize him.
"Woman, why are you crying?" He asked.
Mary, believing He was a gardener cried out, "Sir, if you have taken my master away, tell me where he is so that I can go to him."
In a tender voice the Lord said her name, "Mary!"
When He spoke her name, suddenly Mary knew who He was. "Teacher," she cried through her tears. She ran to Him and in her great joy, she grabbed Him and Hugged him.
"Stop clinging to me," The Lord said with a grin (or so I imagined), "for I have not yet ascended to my Father. "Now, go and tell my brothers that you have seen me and that I am going to return to my Father."
So Mary ran to find the disciples rejoicing and saying, "I have seen the Lord." And indeed, He was alive--before the Lord went up into Heaven, He visited many people throughout the land. Then He was caught up into the clouds.
Have a lovely Easter weekend everyone!