11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”
14Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
“I have seen the Lord.”
Mary began with a statement of fact.
“I have seen the Lord.” He said, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
And so the good news of the Kingdom was now more real, but not yet fully realized. I’m sure they had lots of questions!
Mary’s confession is a proclamation that screams “Jesus is alive!” I imagine that their confusion would have been about both how and why? Now a search for meaning would ensue that had three historical moments to understand: The birth of Jesus, the crucifixion of Jesus and The Resurrection of Jesus.
The Resurrection of Jesus requires us to examine the Scriptures and understand what His life, His death, and His Resurrection means. After the disciples met the Risen Lord they had to wrestle with the question, “What has God done through the Lord Jesus Christ?” What is this Gospel?
One of the first written accounts of the Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 highlights the Gospel narrative and its rootedness in historical events. Paul writes:
1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord reaches back to a historical moment in which we believe God has acted decisively for His glory and our benefit through the life, the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But the reason we have examined the first two historical moments is because of the last, Jesus’ resurrection. It changed everything!
“I have seen the Lord.”