On the morning after the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene headed to the grave to anoint the body of Jesus. She could not get there quick enough; she was beyond grateful for the impact He had made on her life. He delivered her from demons and the extensive mental and emotional baggage accompanying such a traumatic experience. He brought peace to a life that had been consistently and constantly at war. He restored joy and hope, and brought the stability to face the struggles and demons that life would throw at her. Jesus had delivered Mary, and she was beyond grateful. She was committed.
She arrived at the tomb determined to see Jesus and was shocked to find nothing. The tomb was empty.
While the disciples witnessed the empty grave and headed home, Mary stuck around. She was not leaving until she saw Jesus. She kept looking. Even though the men had left after seeing all they needed to see, or not see, she stuck around. Peter and John saw that the grave was empty and therefore they believed that the grave was empty. That was all they thought there was to see and to believe. The left satisfied, and somewhat amazed, even though they saw nothing. Mary needed to see something; Mary had a purpose, a mission. She needed to see Jesus. Mary stuck around.
Although he did not realize this truth, John needed to see Jesus. Jesus had become his closest friend. Peter was also unaware of his need to see Jesus. He desperately needed to experience release and forgiveness for the guilt and shame of his triple denial of Christ. However, both of these men were satisfied with seeing nothing. They went home.
Not Mary, she was sticking around.
She remained at the tomb.
Even though Mary had also seen nothing, and all hope seemed to be gone, she stuck around.
Eventually Mary saw two angels. Then she saw Jesus. She didn’t recognize him until he said her name, then she saw what she came to see. She knew that voice due to the fact that she had been a constant seeker of that voice. She had experienced the full scope of what it meant to depend upon and know Jesus. She knew that this was Jesus. She grabbed hold of him and was not about to let go.
She was sticking around.
Later, when the men finally saw Jesus, He told them to stick around. To wait until God sent their needed helper, the Holy Spirit.
This time they stuck around.