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She Couldn’t Stop Crying!

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She Couldn’t Stop Crying!

Mary held her scarf in place as she tearfully ran to her brother’s house. She couldn’t stop crying. All of her dreams had just crumbled into a horrible nightmare. This was the worst day of her life.

She had been a woman scorned by polite society all of her life.  Most of the married women who knew her, worried about her influence on their husbands.

But for the last several years now, she had been a changed woman; transformed and forgiven by the one who is called Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

But now her Lord was dead. The only One who had ever given her hope had just been killed.

She ran almost blindly, down the darkening narrow street, nearly bumping into strangers. Her eyes focused on her brother’s house. Her pace quickened. Neighbors looked at Mary and then at each other in wonder, not knowing whether to be concerned for Mary or alarmed about something else. why was she running?

She didn’t bother knocking when she got to the door. Mary only slowed her pace slightly as she shoved the door open.

“They’ve killed Him!” She said breathlessly to the startled faces in the room.

“Killed him? Killed who?” Mary’s brother, Nathan asked as he sprang to his feet.

“Jesus. They’ve just crucified Jesus! The soldiers did it. I was there and I saw everything!”

Mary sank into a nearby chair and allowed the floodgate that held back her emotions to open up. Tears flowed afresh.

Nathan looked at his wife Elizabeth not knowing how to respond. They both were happy to see the changes in Mary’s life, but they were still unsure that her attachment to this Jesus person and His Disciples was a good thing for them.

“I thought your Jesus was going to overthrow the Romans and make himself king if he could get enough followers,” Nathan said trying to make a point.

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“You should have seen him.” Mary said, ignoring her brother’s remark. “After they had beaten him till his back was bloody, and could hardly stand, they wove a thorn-bush into a crown and then they placed it on his head smashing it down hard. It made me sick.

“Those cruel heathen soldiers showed how heartless they were as they stripped his robe from him just to shame him publicly. I saw them as they gambled to see who got his clothes.”

Mary stopped to wipe her eyes again.

“Then they forced him to a cross they had on the ground and while they held him in place, the soldiers drove big nails into his hands and feet. Blood ran everywhere. But He never winced or changed his expression.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as the soldiers lifted up the cross and let it drop down hard into the hole they had dug. It made a sickening thud, and his body shook hard. Then more blood started running down his hands, arms and back.

“Horrible people in the crowd starting cheering and saying mean things to him. Jesus looked at the soldiers and at the cheering crowd and said, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’

“Can you imagine that?”

Nathan and Elizabeth shook their heads no. They both then as if on cue, found a place to sit down as they listened to more of Mary’s story.

“What did the crowd say to that?” Elizabeth asked.

“They just kept on mocking and laughing at him. Some of his Disciples were standing close to his mother, Mary.

“Some of his disciples? They weren’t all there?” Nathan asked with a deep furrow in his brow.

“I looked very carefully, but I couldn’t find Judas or Peter anywhere. I was very surprised that Peter was missing. If he was there, I couldn’t see him.” Mary continued.

“There were three big groups there today. There were his followers that were weeping, there was a bigger crowd of those that hated him and just mocked him. Then there were those that just stood on the sidelines and watched. They showed no emotion either way. It was as if they came for the entertainment. They just didn’t care.

“What happened next?” Nathan asked.

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“He said he was thirsty, and a soldier tried to give him some vinegar to drink. He also said something like, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’

“Then he said to John that he wanted him to take care of their mother. He said some other things I can’t remember right now just before he closed his eyes. When he did close his eyes, it wasn’t long before his just head slumped over.

“The soldiers started breaking the legs on the others that were crucified, to make sure they were dead, but when they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead so they stuck a spear in his side. Blood and water gushed down his body and dripped on the ground. Blood and water!

“I turned then and ran here as fast as I could. I couldn’t bear to see anymore.”

With that, Mary sprang to her feet and looked about the darkening room in alarm.

“It’s only the middle of the day and it’s dark outside already! ”Mary said as she ran to the window. “I can see that the chickens are getting up on the roost. What is happening?

Elizabeth screamed and reached for her husband as the ground began to shake violently. The dishes and furniture shook very hard. The floor moved hard up and down and the walls trembled.

Cries of alarm came from homes nearby. Cracks began to show in the walls of their houses while dried dirt fell from the ceilings. Then as it had begun, earthquake was quickly over.

“These are signs! Mary said as she faced her brother and sister-in-law. “These are signs from God! They have killed the Lord’s Anointed, the Messiah, and even nature is upset.”

The three stood close together unsure of what would happen next. They heard noises in the street and a man was talking very loud and very fast. Nathan went outside to see what the commotion was about. A few minutes later he came back inside. His face was ashen and his hands were shaking.

“What’s the matter?” Mary wanted to know.

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“Rueben, the Levite said that he’d just come from the Temple and that the Veil protecting the Holiest of Holies ripped all by itself. It ripped right in the middle, from the top clear down to the bottom without anyone touching it!

“The High Priest, you know, is only allowed to go in to the Mercy Seat once a year, but now the Veil has been torn. Everyone can see in there.

“The High Priest and the Levites are all scared; they ran from the Temple not knowing what they should do. They were afraid of God’s judgment on them for seeing into the Holiest of Holies. There is nothing in the Law about how to correct this problem.

“Two more things.  Reuben said that some big rocks that he has seen in the same place for years, now are all broken in half. and no one split them.

And number two, he said he saw some graves of the old saints were opened up and no one was in them.”

Nathan sat down while Elizabeth and Mary lighted a few lamps.

“Nathan, I know you haven’t been a follower of Jesus like I have. But you know the difference and the change that he made in my life. I’m not the same person anymore. You know that. You can see that. Everyone in town that knew me before can see that.

Mary started crying again remembering the moment she had knelt at the feet of Jesus in Simon’s house. She had held his feet and cried tears of repentance. She hadn’t any towel to wipe the tears away, so she had dried his feet with her hair. Then she had taken perfume, worth a whole years wages, and poured it on his feet.

“I am so ashamed of my past, but He forgave me and gave me hope.

Nathan and Elizabeth both nodded.

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“If that is not enough, the sun went down just now and it got dark at noonday, there was a great earthquake shook everything. The Temple Veil tore in half by the Hand of God! From the top of the Veil… where man can’t even reach. You know those things are not a coincidence! This is a God thing.”

“I’m scared.” Elizabeth said, as she looked first at Nathan then at Mary. “Why don’t you stay here with us a couple of nights so we can talk? I want to know more about your Jesus.”

Mary thanked her and looked at her brother, he nodded his approval. The three talked about the days events for a while longer before going to bed.

Even after Mary had been in bed for a long time, her mind wouldn’t shut down. Then it came to her. She just could not let Jesus lay in some tomb without any ointment and spices. She knew no on had taken the time to wash the blood from his body either. That was the least she could do.

Tomorrow she would make plans and find where to get the necessary spices, ointments and perfumes she would need.

The next morning Mary announced to Elizabeth what she wanted to do and they went shopping for the special perfume and ointment ingredients.

The buzz everywhere was about the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the sun going down early, the earthquake and the torn Temple Veil.

Elizabeth wondered aloud to Mary if she thought the followers of Jesus would be safe now. They had killed Jesus. What would they do to his believers?

At home that night, the special ointments, oils and spices were mixed together. A special cloth had been purchased as well.

Early Sunday morning before daylight, Mary slipped out of the house and headed for the Tomb that she had heard he had been buried in. Her arms were full with the necessary items for an honorable burial. It was the least she could do.

But when Mary got to the tomb, she was in for the greatest shock of her life! She arrived at the tomb while it was still dark. Yet, she could see the protective stone had been rolled away. The tomb was empty!

Mary was overwhelmed with emotion, in shock she turned and started running, not quite sure where.  In the darkness she ran and nearly bumped into Peter and John.

“The tomb is empty, they have taken him away,” she said breathlessly!

Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)

Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)

The men ran to the tomb. They had to see for themselves. When they saw it was empty, hope died in their souls and they turned and slowly went home.

But Mary just stood there. She could leave. She couldn’t stop crying. She finally got brave enough to look again into the empty tomb. It was getting a little lighter by now.

As she stooped down and looked into the empty tomb, she saw two angels sitting there. One sat at the head and one at the feet of where Jesus had lain.

Woman, why are you crying?” The Angels wanted to know.

“Because they have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they’ve taken him.”

Mary turned around with fresh tears in her eyes and saw Jesus, whom she guessed was probably the Gardener.

“Why are you crying woman?” He asked.

Mary at the tombMary still crying blindly said accusingly, “Sir, if you have taken him somewhere, please tell me, and I’ll take him away.

Jesus spoke her name in that familiar voice.

“Mary!”

There was something in the way he spoke her name.

  • It was the same voice that had spoken forgiveness to her when she was a sinner.
  • It was the same voice that had spoken healings and miracles to the multitudes.
  • If she knew any voice in the world, she knew that voice.

She wiped the tears away enough to see him better.

“Rabboni!” She said. (Which is another word for Master.)

Her first reaction was the desire to throw her arms around him and never let him go. Jesus knew that, and simple said…

“Do not touch me, for I have not yet be glorified. Just go to my brethren, and tell them that I am alive. I have risen!”

  • That is exactly what Mary did.
  • Seeing Jesus turned her tears into joy.
  • This is what Jesus is still doing.
  • Let Him turn your sorrow into joy today!

 

It’s what the hope of the Resurrection is all about!

Celebrate Easter this Sunday by Receiving the Holy Ghost, the power of the Resurrection.

If you do… You too will rise again!

He’s Alive!

 

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John Chapter 20

 

The Empty Tomb

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

 

Mary Find Peter And John

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

 

Mary Can’t Stop Crying

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

 

Mary Meets Jesus And Doesn’t Recognize Him

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

 

Mary Sent To Tell The Apostles

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

 

Jesus Among His Disciples

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.

 

Doubting Thomas

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 28, 2013 at 12:16 am

3 Responses

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  1. I am eternally grateful for that empty tomb! You have written a vivid description of crucifixion and resurrection.

    Nila Marxer

    March 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm

  2. Thank you for another great article – love you Dad!

    C. Anthony Ballestero

    C. Anthony Ballestero

    April 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm

  3. Reblogged this on donpollock's Blog.

    donpollock

    April 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm


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