Mary at the Tomb: Progressive Revelation – Part 1
Celebrating International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020
Today’s writer, Greta Mavro, serves in Greece on behalf of Revive Israel/ Tikkun Global ministries.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I will know even as also I am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:11-13
When divine love is awakened, we are compelled to put away childish things in order to pursue Him until we find Him face to face. When we love, we are never satisfied with knowing in part. We must know as we are known. This is the nature of divine love.
There is a powerful progressive revelation in John 20 that takes us from knowing in part to the whole, the perfect. We can all partake in this greater fulness of relationship as we wait upon the Lord until He comes, even as Mary Magdelene did at the tomb. Mary was not satisfied with knowing Yeshua in part, even after His demise. Her heart cried out for more.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she said, “and we do not know where they have put Him!” John 20:1-2
There are many who would stop at this news, but Peter and John who walked intimately with Yeshua, ran to the tomb to investigate more. John the beloved outruns Peter, stoops in, sees the linen clothing, but doesn’t go inside. Peter arrives, enters the tomb where he sees not only the linen clothes, but also the cloth that was wrapped around Yeshua’s head folded by itself. Then John enters the tomb himself and believes. Both of them receive powerful evidence of the resurrection, but only in part. Both of them go home again. There are many who have stopped their search there as well, even “gone home” after receiving partial knowledge of the Lord. Many remain satisfied with good sermons and theology, with conferences, successful ministry, a level of revelation, but they stop there.
Even Peter and John, who were His closest and most intimate disciples, went back to business as usual. In fact, Peter went back to fishing and drew the other disoriented disciples with him. They fished all night but they caught nothing, because Jesus had already called them to become fishers of men. In their disillusionment, they went back to “fishing in the wrong sea.”
But Mary could not go back to her old life. She could not “go home”, or return to business as usual. Jesus was her home and her only and final destination was to see Him again.
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent down to look into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and the other at the feet.
“Woman, why are you weeping?” they asked.
“Because they have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I do not know where they have put Him.” John 20:11-13
Mary was seeking more than angels, more than evidence about Yeshua’s resurrection, more than a part of Him. She was looking for Yeshua Himself! She was looking for the One her soul loved!