Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mary Magdalene: Like To Die For Love of Christ

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb 
while it was still dark...

Mary was the first one there at the tomb, that Resurrection Day. She rose while it was still dark, her heart set on the task ahead. Before the sun rose she walked the roads to the tomb, and in the dim light of dawn made out that the stone had been moved.
So she ran...

She arrived breathless before Peter and John, urging them to come quickly and see, the stone had been moved from the tomb. Peter ran ahead, but stopped short at the door, and bent to look inside. John ran in without stopping and gazed at the empty linen wrappings and the neatly folded face cloth. Then they both went home.

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping...

The others had come and gone. Samuel Rutherford, in his 1640 sermon "The Weeping Mary at the Sepulchre" said,
Here is a woman more forward in seeking Christ than all His eleven disciples are. Because she never got her errand that she was seeking, she could not get Christ, and therefore she will not leave, nor give over, but will wait on and seek Him. A soul that is in love with Christ, they never get their errand till they get Christ Himself. Ye that are seeking Christ, never give over seeking till ye meet with Him, for they shall at last meet with Him who lie at His door, seeking as this woman did...
 Mary on the Resurrection Morn, became my example. Have I come seeking Christ? A mere wish is not enough. A check marked task is not enough. A glance at His face in the Word, will never do. In Rutherford's words, I have not got my errand until I have got Christ. I must not leave. I must not give up. I must wait on and seek Him. I must lie at His door until I meet Him.

This is no errand to be made in haste. There ought to be no question of how much is enough or how much is too much. This is a calling to my soul. A calling to quiet tomb-side seeking even in the midst of busy days, fighting kids, a kitchen full of voices, phone calls and math papers. This is no easy errand. This is an errand completed with tears, if necessary. This is love calling to my soul. Rutherford again,
Whom seekest thou? This question is asked at her to make her hunger to be the greater, for the greatest hunger that any has for Christ they may, aye, be more hungry for Him. And so learn to rap out [quickly to throw out] all your desires and affections for Christ, not only love Him,but be sick of love for Him. That is more than ordinary love to be like to die for love of Him.
I want to be sick of love for Christ, like to die for love of Him. These Resurrection Days I ought to stand outside the tomb and never give in, never give up, never walk away. I want to be asking for Him, seeking Him, until He calls be my name and like Mary long ago, I cling to my Risen Savior. I believe that Christ is and is a rewarder of those who seek Him. He rewarded Mary.  Mary, who came in the dark, and waited longer, weeping, asking and seeking her Savior. He rewarded her. She was the first to see the risen Lord.

Scriptures taken from John 20. Also read Samuel Rutherford's sermon, The Weeping Mary at the Sepulchre.

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