HOW DID YOU SEE GOD THIS WEEK AS YOU FOLLOWED HIM?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back-- it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 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.

Reflect Together:

Mary Magdalene is identified in all four gospels, either alone or together with other women as the first to witness the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection. (See also John 20:1-18) (Background on Mary Magalene: Seven demons had been driven out of her, and she traveled with Jesus along with some other women and helped support his ministry).

In what ways does Mary Magdalene and the other women show their love for Jesus in both of these passages?

What do you think the three women felt as they went to Jesus’ tomb early in the morning? (Mark 16:1-3).

What did they encounter when they arrived at the tomb, and how did they respond? (Mark 16:4-5)

Read John 20:11-18. What question is repeated twice to Mary? And who asked these questions? How does Mary answer the questions?

What causes Mary to recognize Jesus?  (John 20:16)

What is the commission that Mary receives? (John 20:17; Mark 16:7)

In Mark, there is a note that v. 9-20 do not appear in the early manuscripts, so the Gospel ends with Mary and the the women fleeing the tomb and not telling anyone because they were afraid. (v. 8). How does this unclimatic ending point to grace? How are we invited into this unfinished story?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

Think back to a time when you were grieving some kind of loss, did you recognize Jesus’ voice during that time?  What helped you recognize Jesus’ voice, even while you were still hurting?

Mary is seeking Jesus’ body to anoint him with perfume and spices, and is not expecting to see the miracle of his resurrection. Have you ever sought a “version” of Jesus that was not completely accurate and been surprised by how Jesus revealed himself?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

What is Jesus commissioning you to do?  Who is He commissioning you to tell?

While darkness marks the cross, the resurrection is witnessed early in morning. A new beginning is here. What is something new that you sense God is doing in and around you?