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.” John 20:2
Likely full of mixed emotions, Mary goes to get the others.
John and Peter go with her to the tomb. It is empty, as Mary said. They frantically look around assessing the situation. The linen grave clothes are tossed to the side, but the cloth that was on Jesus’ head is folded neatly in a place by itself. John made sure to preserve this for us to read thousands of years later. The God of order, the Prince of Peace, did not leave in a hurry. He took His time; he folded His face cloth.
Not sure what to make of it, the disciples retreat yet again into hiding, while Mary makes her way back to the tomb. In a conversation with who she thinks is the local gardener, she hears, “Mary.” Her heart skips a beat. She can hardly breathe. Immediately she knows with whom she is speaking. “Go, tell the others…,” Jesus proclaims.
Doors locked, huddled in fear, uncertainty, and a sprinkle of hope, the disciples gather and wait. Minutes feel like hours as time drips drips drips by. Day melts into evening.
Suddenly Jesus appears standing among them. “Peace be with you,” He says. His words proclaim the opposite of what they had been feeling. Still processing how in the world He got in through the locked doors, He shows them His hands and sides. Don’t be mistaken; this is no ghost or vision. This is the real thing. Again, “Peace be with you.” But this time He adds, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Then He breathed on them. I imagine the intimacy of His presence and gift to them. Did he one by one gently grab them by the shoulders, lock eyes with them, and exhale?
There is no door, no barrier, no emotion Jesus can’t break through to get to us. Nothing is beyond His reach, even when we are too scared to seek Him at the moment. He comes with peace, proof, purpose, and power.
Question: Do you believe Jesus can meet you wherever you are?