July 11

John 20:15-17 15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." 16Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

The one who is forgiven much loves much. She was the first to the grave that Sunday morning of resurrection. She wanted to adorn it with spices so that she could visit it even as the body decomposed. Seeing the body gone, she feared it was stolen. She may have thought, "First they kill Him; then they steal His body!"

Jesus came to her as she wept. I think He often does the same with us. We are usually brokenhearted because we do not see the whole picture. We can't understand what the Master is really doing. We ask "Why?" Why has this loss in our life occurred? Why did God allow such a tragedy in our life? We feel lost and separated from Him; but as we weep He stands beside us and asks us why. Why would we doubt His goodness and love? He is always faithful!

What made Mary aware that it was her Savior? He called her name. He knows your name and calls to you personally. When He speaks our name, we hear the love with which He says it.

Mary wanted to cling to His physical presence. This passage is a mystery to many. The word "hold" can also be translated "cling to." Jesus would be leaving again, ascending to the right hand of the throne of God. He didn't want to break Mary's heart again with His departure. She was already working through the pain of separation, and He didn't want to take her back to the beginning. She had to let go of His physical presence so that she could receive the Spirit at Pentecost. To help her get the idea of what was to come, He sent her on a mission. That was what she would be doing once the Spirit came, serving her Savior.

Remember: In the midst of the loss that life inevitably brings, remember, He stands beside you, calls your name, and asks, "Why are you crying?" He still has service for you.