Jesus, The Ultimate Super Hero
I absolutely love the accounts of the resurrection in the Gospels! Jesus, the Son of God, defeats death and Satan and rises from the dead! You couldn't make up a better super hero story than that! There are so many interesting parts of this account in John 20 that I thought we would focus on this particular passage for the next post after my last one, "It's Friday, But Sunday's Coming."
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stopped 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, “Rabonni!” (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. –John 20:11-18
First of all, did anyone else notice that Jesus purposely appeared to a woman first rather than to one or all of His disciples? How awesome is that, girls? I did some looking around to see what people thought might be the reason for this. After all, a woman in Jesus' day was not allowed to give testimony in court, so why would Jesus chose someone like Mary Magdalene to go tell the disciples that He had risen? The best idea that I found was that Jesus was making right all that went wrong at the beginning with Eve. Let's look at the details...
This all takes place in a garden at the tomb. Eve's debacle also took place in a garden. Eve just happened to be a woman - duh. From the very beginning it was the woman who bore the blame for first believing Satan's lie and disobeying God's command, thus plunging the whole world into despair. This time God Himself, rather than Satan, appeared to the woman to show her that He had conquered death and made a way for us to be victorious over sin and its terrible consequences. Just as Eve represented all women who are fallen, Mary Magdalene now is an example of all women who are forgiven!
Notice that Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener. The Bible tells us that God planted a garden for Adam and Eve to tend. So technically, God was the very first gardener who handed over the Garden of Eden to be tended by man. At the empty tomb, we have Jesus being mistaken for a gardener. It is interesting that God as a gardener appears in both places! Also, in 1 Corinthians 15:45-47, we learn that Jesus is the "last Adam." So the last "Adam" who is the perfect man, has corrected the failure of the first Adam, all of which is taking place in the two gardens!
In the Garden of Eden, after the fall, God placed two angels with flaming swords at the entrance to keep man out of the garden so he could not eat from the tree of life and live forever in his fallen state. After the resurrection, we again see two angels dressed in bright white clothing, sitting at the head and foot of the slab where Jesus had been laid. These guys appear again later at the Ascension of Jesus. I have always wondered if they might be the same two angels that accompanied God that day when He visited Abraham and then went to rescue Lot and destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. At any rate, it's interesting that two angels are always showing up, and that there were two angels in both gardens.
At the fall, the woman was cursed by being placed under her husband for him to "rule over her." She would experience pain in childbirth and was placed under the curse of sin and death. She was placed at enmity with Satan, and he would do everything in his power to make women miserable, second rate members of the human race. In the garden, because of the empty tomb, the woman was now the first one commissioned to go and tell the good news that Jesus had risen. The woman was, in effect, the first missionary who carried the Gospel to Jesus' disciples! Jesus was giving back to the woman all that had been taken from her at the fall. He was righting all that was made wrong by the first sin! He was and is the ultimate super hero of women everywhere! He is our God, our King, our Savior, and our Lord!
As women, we truly have something to celebrate this Easter, and every single day of our lives! Jesus loves us and just as He commissioned Mary Magdalene to go and share the Gospel, He commissions us to "Go therefore and make disciples of of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Be blessed as you go and serve Him as a fully forgiven and commissioned woman in His service!