Staying Against All Odds
MONDAYS WITH KERRI
Last week we looked at the importance of humility in worship. We also mentioned the first in five postures of true worship by looking at Mary’s life. She went in the dark of the early morning to go to the tomb to minister to Jesus’ body. She risked her life to venture out under tight surveillance not caring about what might happen to her. Instead of hiding like the rest of the disciples she risked it all, even despite the risk. Jesus had been crucified just days before; it made good sense to hide. But Mary knows Jesus is The One who gives real life. He became her life.
Let’s review the passage, In John 20:1-18;
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, The One whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!" Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side. Then the other disciple also went in, and he saw and believed — for until then they hadn't realized that the Scriptures said he would rise from the dead. Then they went home. Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. "Why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put him." She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. "Why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?" She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him." "Mary!" Jesus said. She turned toward him and exclaimed, "Teacher!" "Don't cling to me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God." Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" Then she gave them his message.
Mary’s life serves to challenge us in a multitude of ways. But, perhaps the most powerful illustration she provides is the simplicity through which a life of faith is to be lived out today. She knew she could never repay Jesus for what He had done for her. So, she chose to live a life of worship and praise. Today we look at the second posture of worship.
2) When the two disciples that dared to run out to the tomb saw that Jesus was not there, they immediately left and returned home. They quickly went back into hiding after taking a risk. Mary stayed at the tomb, not caring that she was risking her life. Her love compelled her more than her fear held her. She engaged with a man she thought was the gardener, inquiring as to where Jesus might be. Her behavior is opposite of Peter’s; when asked, he denied knowing the Lord three times. Mary went asking for Him–not only was she not ashamed, but she was also not afraid. Her fearlessness clearly illustrates her love for Jesus and the fact that she found her identity in Him alone.
Next week we will look at the three remaining postures of a true worshiper.
Are you willing to stay if everyone else around you abandons what you know to be right and true? Will you choose to stay if they leave you?
I imagine it was a pivotal moment for Mary when she stayed at the tomb after the two disciples that had come out of hiding ran back home. However, love compelled her choice to stay. Will love or fear compel you? What will you choose today?
To read more on this topic order Kerri's book