John 20:1-18Â – Easter â€“ for Sunday, April 20, 2014
â€œMary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, â€˜I have seen the Lord . . .â€™â€ (John 20:18)
Did Mary pause and turn for a last glance at Jesus before she left the clearing around the tomb?
After Mary realized Jesus wasnâ€™t the gardener, heâ€™d shared reassuring words. Heâ€™d instructed her to seek his disciplesâ€”â€œmy brothers,â€ Johnâ€™s Gospel had Jesus sayâ€”and to give them a message. In the fourth Gospelâ€™s take on the resurrection, Mary is the only woman at the tomb. The other three accounts have more and different visiting women. No other Gospel mistakes Jesus for a gardener. Matthew includes at least one tomb guard. All the Gospels describe men (or a man) in white waiting in (or by) the tomb. They are angels, or they are not. For my faith, imagination serves an essential role in (barely) comprehending the resurrection. I donâ€™t think any Gospel writer lied, or had the â€œbetterâ€ or more â€œaccurateâ€ resurrection tale. And the four Easter storiesâ€”as we casually do with Christmasâ€”shouldnâ€™t be tossed into spring blender so that, like the shepherds and magi, everyone appears at the same place with the same purposes.
I embrace imagination. No one knows what happened. Except you know how you react as you read these early morning moments.
And so I read Johnâ€™s version.
Mary was leaving to give Jesusâ€™ disciples a message.
Because Iâ€™d look back, I imagine she did. Continue reading →