November 3, 2016

The Miracle of The Garden Tomb: Part 1

“Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.” Mark 15:46 (NLT)

The Garden Tomb was where the resurrected Jesus was first encountered by a woman named Mary Magdalene. The Bible says,

“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons.” Mark 16:9 (NIV)

Mary Magdalene had been healed by Jesus earlier in His ministry when He freed her of the demons that troubled her, and she became a Christ follower. In fact, she apparently became part of the entourage that helped support the ministry of Jesus and the disciples. We don’t hear much more about Mary Magdalene until these final chapters of Jesus’ life on earth. She is present in the accounts of Jesus’ death. She was one of the group that stayed close to the cross during Jesus’ final hours. And she was the first one to appear at the tomb that Sunday morning of the Grand Miracle.

I think Mary Magdalene may have been someone much like you and me. Quite simply, are you someone who has followed Jesus for a long time? Someone who has served God in many ways for many months and years? And are you tired, weary, and perhaps a bit disillusioned by your faith? Has your work for God replaced your walk with God?

Mary must have been heartbroken, watching the Jesus she had followed and loved endure the agony of the cross. Who knows what she thought about who Jesus was – God or the Messiah or a revolutionary or a future king. She served her Lord – we know that. But, I have to think that, after Jesus died on the cross and His body was taken down and buried, her world was shaken. Perhaps she was thinking about going back to the ordinary world she had lived in before she encountered Jesus.
Is this you too? Has your encounter with Jesus become tired and faded? Have you lost your first passion for God? Do you feel yourself returning to the ordinary world you started in? It’s time to pause and refresh. Take a walk through a garden and pray, asking God for a fresh encounter with the risen Christ. He will show up in a miraculous way!