With a Mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
— Robert Lowery
Mary Magdalene stood at the threshold of the gloomy sepulcher as the grey morning was giving way to another day. The beauty of the spring morning was as meaningless to her despondent heart as the warble of the birds about her. She gazed into the dark, empty tomb.
But wait; was the tomb really empty? Objects began forming on either end of the cold crypt — they were angels! Mary, her eyes dimmed with tears, did not realize that they were celestial beings.
She heard the voices of the angels, but being a victim of utter despair, she did not realize that heavenly beings were conversing with her. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She gave the agonizing wail, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him” (John 20:13).
As that poor woman stood, probably sobbing, Jesus, the resurrected Christ, approached. Sorrowfully she turned to her Christ, thinking He was the gardener of the rich man Joseph, who had come to work the spring flowers.
She said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him” (John 20:15).
Mary was viewing and conversing with her risen Lord face-to-face. She was the first to see Him after His resurrection, but she had failed to recognize Him. To her, He was only a hired hand of Joseph!
Was it not so with the disciples on the road to Emmaus? The risen Lord was a stranger to them. However, in a sense Jesus is a gardener. It was He, the pre-existent Christ, who made the beautiful Garden of Eden.
He placed the gorgeous roses, the lilies, and other flowers there. He is the Gardener, for He divinely cares for all the flowers in your garden and mine. Through His efficacious work at Calvary and His resurrection from the tomb, He opens the gates to the garden of Heaven, where the fruit of the Tree of Life is free to all who want to enter.
When Jesus spoke Mary’s name, she recognized Him. The name Mary meant much to Jesus, for it was His mother’s name, as well as the name of several of His followers.
Also, the name of Jesus meant everything to Mary Magdalene on that Easter morning, for He had arisen! Her Lord was alive!
Some pathetic souls say He didn’t arise — they say He is dead. Remember the theologian Altizer who years ago gained notoriety by proclaiming God was dead?
Someone wrote in the New York City Subway: “God is Dead — Altizer.” Then, like all mortals, Altizer died. Someone later scrawled below the above writing: “Altizer is Dead — God.”
The Muslims teach that Christ did not die at Calvary. Instead, another person was slipped in and was crucified, not Jesus. At the end of the age, they say, the Twelfth Iman will appear who will rule the world and Christ will assist him.
You and I know that’s not the way it will be. The Bible is clear — Christ will rule the world alone from Jerusalem for a thousand years.
A little boy found a dead bird and asked, “Mommy, what’s the matter with the little birdie?”
“He is dead, dear.”
“What is ‘dead’?
“His little life is gone out of his body.”
“Mommy, will the ‘dead’ come off the birdie?” was the little boy’s final question.
Our Lord was totally dead. His body lay cold in the dismal grave for hours, but on the morning of the Resurrection when Mary Magdalene met Him in the garden, the “dead” had “come off Him”; He was alive forevermore.
It is a glorious truth today — Jesus lives! Since He lives, anybody and everybody may live eternally, if they so choose.