Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: New Year (05/09/05)
TITLE: Never Let Go
By Paul Potenza
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OK…My mind’s working overtime on this one. I know that I’m going to like writing this. The only thing I have to be careful of is adding or subtracting from what the Bible says.
OFF WE GO!
It’s Three days after the crucifixion. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome decide to go to the tomb of Jesus to anoint the body. They still don’t “get it”. They had to be confused and disoriented. Let’s face it: their hero had been brutally beaten, tortured, flogged, humiliated, given a mock trial, and murdered right in front of them. On top of that the scripture makes reference to the fact that there was an earthquake to which there were witness.
I can see it in my mind’s eye. My guess is that the weather is fair. That’s just a guess, but I figure they were in the Med and the time of year suggests it is weather resembling spring. That means all the same things it means to us. The smell of new grass and buds, rich dirt and just a general feeling of rebirth. They’re going along, probably not thinking about what their sensory receptors are picking up, but still picking things up subconsciously. What seemed uppermost in their minds is “Who’s going to get us into the tomb?” They STILL believe this Guy is dead!
They get to the tomb and they find it empty. They go to the apostles and tell them. Obviously, this is BIG news. The apostles Peter and John check it out and find it to be true! THEY still don’t get it! My favorite part comes right here. After the apostles leave, Mary Magdalene stays behind…crying…She must have loved Him very much.
She looks back at the tomb, almost as if to make sure her eyes haven’t deceived her, and in the tomb she sees something she hasn’t seen before! Two angels who ask her why she’s crying. Duh! She explains it’s because “they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they put Him”. Ever feel that way? Now, even though she is cognizant that she is talking to two angels, she can’t be bothered with them, such is her determination to find her missing Lord. She turns away. By now it has to be getting later in the early morning. Perhaps the sun is getting higher because it’s obvious she can see around her pretty well. Remember, she had gotten to the tomb while it was still dark. She sees Jesus standing there and He speaks first. He says to her “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” She doesn’t even RECOGNIZE Him! She thinks he’s the GARDENER for crying out loud! And she says,”Sir, if you’ve taken Him away, tell me where you put Him and I’ll take Him away.” My guess is that, at that point, all she wanted was to shelter and protect Him. But you can tell that she wanted that with all her heart because she made herself subservient to the gardener by calling him sir and by the fact that she was weeping. Now comes the spot that touches me EVERY time I read it…He said to her
At that point, she recognized Him. I’ll bet that if she had one wish at that moment, she would have wished to freeze time and NEVER lose Him again. I’ll bet she wanted to keep Him all to herself, and never let Him get hurt, and talk to Him and confide in Him. I wouldn’t swear to it, or preach it as gospel, because, after all, it’s just my thoughts…but isn’t that what YOU want? Maybe that’s why Jesus made a point of telling her not to hold Him yet because He had “not yet ascended to His Father”. You figure that someone who loves you THAT much is going to try to grab you and hold on to you for all they’re worth. Funny thing is, He’s allowing ALL of us to grab and hold Him for all we’re worth. My guess is that because we didn’t have such a traumatic experience with LOSING Him, we don’t attach the same intensity with FINDING Him. It’s a shame, really, because finding Him is the greatest experience you can imagine. It’ll definitely change your life.
If only each one of us could experience an early morning earthquake while searching for the Lord we thought was lost. You know…be shaken right down to our core. Then come up smelling rebirth.
--I doubt we’d EVER let go--
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