On this Saturday morning before Easter, I read Matthew 27:62-28:20 and Mark 15:42-16:20. I sat on my front porch under the awning and watched the sparrows bicker at the bird feeder and enjoyed the sprinkle of rain pattering on the sidewalk off the roof of the house. I bundled up in a fleece jacket and wrapped a fleece blanket around my legs and enjoyed the crisp morning.
As I sat down and began to read, my plan was to focus on and rejoice in the resurrection. However, God had a different message for me this morning. He drew my mind to the two Marys. These women followed and served Jesus faithfully in a culture where they held little value and no power.
But Jesus did not see them that way. He saw them as two beautiful hearts wanting love and seeking a savior. And He gave them both.
Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2.) She served him diligently after. We find her present at the crucifixion even after the disciples fled. She remained and watched her savior bear her sins on the cross and die for her. Then she and the other Mary followed Joseph of Arimathea to the tomb and watched him lay Jesus' body there, wrapped in linen cloth.
The morning after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week, they came to care for their Lord's body...
Their dedication and service to their Lord was rewarded, for they did not find Christ's body. Instead they found an angel bearing amazing news. They were the first to know that Jesus had risen! Joyfully they took off down the road to tell the disciples...
And they encountered Jesus! They fell to His feet and worshiped Him.
Their Lord. Their Savior. The man who had seen their worth and given them the love they had so longed for...
Here's what struck me between the eyes this morning: These women were crazy in love with their Savior. They wanted to serve Him. They wanted to be near Him, no matter the cost. They wanted to do whatever they could to serve their Lord Jesus Christ. Not what they thought would gain them rewards. Not what society expected them to do. Just WHATEVER they could do.
Whether that meant standing back and watching him suffer or standing at his tomb to watch him be laid to rest, or caring for his body. None of these were glamorous tasks. But they were eager to perform them for the Lord whom they loved.
Am I that dedicated? Am I standing back and listening and watching for any opportunity to serve my Lord? Am I willing to give selflessly of my time and money to serve Him, regardless of the cost?
I am afraid the answer is no. I am too busy worrying about my housework (which still isn't getting done) and my yard and my weight and my frizzy hair...And the list goes on.
But the two Marys weren't looking to things of the world to give them fulfillment. They were looking to their Savior.
I want to be more like Mary.