Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
I have been meditating today on what difference the world would feel if Jesus hadn't died, if he was just a man. In a matter of hours I heard several people comment that there would be no hope with Easter. The Jewish people still hope tho. That can't be it, really.
What I came up with is that without Jesus, our idea of God would be incomplete. We would not know how passionately God loves and pursues us.
Jesus' first appearance after his death and resurrection was to Mary Magdalene. Having traveled with him, listened to him teach, the followers of Jesus still did not know who he was really. They weren't expecting him to rise from the dead. The empty tomb meant that someone had stolen the body. In her grief, Mary lingered there, a place of connection to her master.
A barren, lifeless connection...that would be life without Jesus, without him resurrected. But being able to know God in Jesus, we can begin to trust God more, to develop a relationship with God, to surrender more deeply. He hears us, our mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. He seeks to give us hope, to comfort us, to be in relationship with us.
When I think about Good Friday, I am often brought to tears. Thinking that my sin, my diseased nature, has caused that much pain to Jesus, makes me hurt for him. But, as I read somewhere, it wasn't my sin that held him onto that cross, it was his love...his desire to be in relationship with us. And it isn't the end of the story anyway.
My Savior has risen! He is not held captive to death or sin. He has beaten them!
My Savior, my Lord, my Teacher, my Friend....