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Held and Beloved 6

A Brief Look Inside the Book

Held and Beloved Day 6

The night stretched long after a painfully quiet Sabbath. The stillness made the events of the previous day pound on repeat through her heart. It is very likely she didn’t sleep all night. By early morning, still before any light of day, she just couldn’t bear it any longer. She got up, got dressed and went to the only place she really wanted to be. The last place she had seen her Savior. Laid in a new tomb.

When she got there, the stone had been rolled away and even in the darkness, she could see that the tomb was empty! A surge of panic and fear shot through her. She ran to Peter and John to tell them that His body had been moved, and she anxiously looked to them for help to find Him. They ran back to the tomb ahead of her and found just what she had discovered—an empty tomb. Just as perplexed but beginning to believe what Jesus had told them about His death and resurrection, Peter and John returned home. She was alone again but couldn’t leave.

She stooped to look in the tomb again and this time it was filled with light! Two angels sat where Jesus’ body had been. They asked why she was weeping. “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

She hadn’t missed a single step of her Lord’s journey. She had traveled with Him, cared for His needs. She had been close enough to hear His final words from the cross, to see Him take His last breath, and to watch as Joseph and Nicodemus prepared His body and laid Him in that new tomb. She just wanted to be near Him. She always took notice of where He was and did everything she could to be close to Him. Now she couldn’t find Him, and she was heartbroken.

For some reason, before hearing the angels’ response, she turned and noticed a man standing behind her. In the early morning light and through her tears, she couldn’t make out His features and assumed He was the gardener. “Please, if you have taken away my Lord, please tell me where He is and I will go and get Him.”


She heard Him say her name and immediately she knew it was her Savior! Only His voice could sound like that. Only His heart could communicate so much by just speaking her name. Grief had clouded her vision, but she recognized His voice speaking to her! She was too overjoyed to worry about the how or the why, she simply fell at His feet.

We don’t know much about Mary Magdalene, only that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her and from that time, she rarely left His side. She was eternally delivered and impacted by Jesus and she overflowed with love and devotion to Him. She just wanted to be near Him. She sought Him out. Even when He died, she took careful notice of where His body was laid and went to the tomb to be as close to Him as she could be. When she saw Him again, she fell at His feet and clung to Him as if she would never let go. Jesus gently but firmly redirected her, “I have not yet ascended to My Father. Go, tell My brothers that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God!”

Mary’s encounter with Jesus on Resurrection Sunday touches me deeply. I am reminded again that our Savior is so incredibly personal. His interactions with us communicate volumes in a word. He knows us individually and meets us exactly where we are to reassure our hearts and lead us to the next step in loving and serving Him well.

Mary’s devotion to the Lord challenges my heart. How often do I put my own decisions through her filters? Really it comes down to this: how much can I say “no” to so I can spend more time with Him, so I can seek His face?  To hear His voice more clearly, to get to know Him better? What a tender and precious train of thought—not to browbeat me away from less desirable choices, but simply to draw me to the better choice every time. Closer to my Savior. Nearer, still nearer to Jesus!

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirits are crushed. 

(Psalm 34:18)

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