Abiding Treasure: Whom Are You Seeking by Bryan Craig
John 20:11-18 ESV
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped 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 one at the feet. 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.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 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.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 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.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
For some reason, my first focus is on Jesus’ questions for Mary…Why are you weeping?....Whom are you seeking? Jesus is always connected to the heart of the matter. And much like He was moved over the weeping and grieving of Lazarus before He rose him from the dead, He is moved by Mary’s weeping. Jesus Cares. And Jesus wants to know Whom she is seeking. He is, as we say in The Journey, the “treasure of the universe,” a treasure that wants to be found. He wants us to seek Him. I also love the way it says that she thought Jesus was the Gardener. A few chapters before, Jesus told His disciples that His Father was the Gardener, as He also told them He was the Vine and they were the branches. Now that Jesus is resurrected, He is no longer bound in the flesh, and is about to take His place as part of the Tri-Une Godhead. It is also interesting to me that Jesus, after His resurrection, also hid His identity as He walked with the men on the road to Emmaus. It seems to me that it is His M.O. to test our hearts to see what we really think about Him. And I love this final statement to Mary, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father.” In this statement to Mary, He is sealing the fact that our adoption is complete through His death and resurrection on the Cross.
Whom am I seeking? I can seek all sorts of things every day. I can seek significance, pleasure, wealth, fame or sometimes, I can seek just to be loved, to be appreciated. I believe Jesus loves me and is with me through His Spirit, more than I even realize. I wonder how many times I’ve been upset, confused, feeling alone, and I didn’t know He was right there with me. There have been strangers in my life at key moments who have intersected my life who brought me love, encouragement, peace. Reading this account makes me wonder if they were Jesus in disguise or perhaps angels. I just need to remember that He is ALWAYS near, and He has compassion for me. Just as He cried out to His father in His garden of despair, He wants me to cry out to Him in my moments of anguish. Because He went to the Father, the Father is now my Father…the Gardener is my Gardener. And just like Jesus told Mary to go and tell the disciples what she saw, I believe He wants me to tell others that He is alive and that He is there for them too.
Jesus, I am SO thankful for You. Thank you for suffering and dying for ME. I am SO sorry that You had to do this because of ME. I am so thankful that You are my Lord, my Gardener, my Vine, my Master, my Friend, my Teacher. It so encourages me that Your Spirit lives in me and will never leave me or forsake me. Forgive me for the times I have not acknowledged your presence or sought answers or comfort elsewhere. Jesus, thank You for the power of Your Name and for giving me authority to do works that You did on earth. Help Me be a good steward of the gifts You have given me. I love You and I praise You. Amen.