11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They 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.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus 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.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Ask and answer questions. Questions unlock new discoveries and meanings. Ask questions about the passage using these words: who, what, why, when, where, or how. Jot down your answers to these questions
Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, and lingered in her grief. At first she thought Jesus was a gardener, and indeed, he is; for where the first Adam failed his work in the garden, the last Adam has wondrously succeeded. The grain of gospel wheat died, and was planted in a garden tomb, and now the grand harvest begins (cf. 12:24–25).
It wasn’t until Jesus spoke her name that Mary recognized him. The Good Shepherd had laid down his life and taken it up again. Now he called one of his sheep by name and she recognized his life-giving voice (10:4). The gospel is no mere invitation; it is a summons to glory. Each of us must move from the general of John 3:16 (God’s love for the world generally) to the personal of Galatians 2:20 (God’s love for me specifically). (1)
- What stood out?
- How would you have reacted if you were in Mary’s place?
- What does Jesus mean that He has not yet ascended to the Father?
17 Jesus 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.’ ”
End in Prayer