He is not here, but has risen. (Luke 24:5 NRSV)John's resurrection story focuses upon Mary Magdalene. Early on Sunday morning Mary went to the tomb to prepare Jesus' body. Much to her horror she finds the stone rolled away. She believes that the body of Jesus has been stolen so she weeps outside the tomb. Who can blame her? Wasn't it bad enough that they whipped, slugged, spat upon and crucified Jesus? Now they can't even let his body be at rest. They'd stolen it and God knows what they were doing to it. It is in this moment of despair that the risen Jesus speaks her name, "Mary." And suddenly Mary knows that Jesus is alive.
Thrilled with the good news, she rushes to tell the disciples that the Lord has risen BUT FAILS TO COMMUNICATE. Her words are not believed. In Biblical times a woman's word was not to be taken as testimony. Despite the fact that Jesus counted women among his friends and never denied a woman's request for help, his disciples were still products of their time. THEY DO NOT BELIEVE MARY.
Will you believe?
Dear God, yes, I will believe your beloved Mary. He is alive in me! Amen.