Daily Devotional

John 20:10-11 

"Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping."

Here’s a good Bible trivia question for you.  Who was the first person to see Jesus after he rose from the dead?

Perhaps it was one of the twelve disciples.  Perhaps it was his mother or one of his brothers like James, who would later become a leader in the church at Jerusalem.  

But no.  The answer is Mary Magdalene.  

Imagine being the very first person on the planet – the first person in all of human history – to see Jesus after his resurrection.  What an unimaginable gift.

I wonder why God chose Mary for that privilege and honor?  

I think it’s because Mary lingered with Jesus.  

When Jesus was crucified, Mary was there “looking on from a distance” (Mt 27:55).  And when the crowds dissipated, Mary lingered at the cross where her beloved Savior hung dead and lifeless.  After everyone had gone home and Joseph of Arimathea came to take the body of Jesus down from the cross, Mary was still there – not wanting to leave.

Three days later, Mary went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus with spices, but the stone had been rolled away and Jesus was gone.  Mary rushed to tell the other disciples, and Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves.  They went in, saw the grave clothes lying there, and went home again – amazed and bewildered (Jn 20:1-10).  

But once again Mary lingered.  She lingered at the tomb after everyone departed, her heart filled with grief and love and longing (v. 11).  And then he appeared.

“Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?” she heard the words behind her.  

As soon as Jesus called her name she recognized him – that familiar, tender voice.  She turned around and saw the risen, victorious Christ standing before her in his glorified body.

Why Mary?  Because she lingered with Jesus.  He had driven seven demons out of her (Mt 16:9) and she loved him.

Today I pray that we will follow Mary’s example and linger with Jesus.  He’s not dead.  He is risen!  He’s waiting for you by the empty tomb.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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