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Alleluia! Jesus is Alive!

POSTED: April 6, 2012 7:00 a.m.

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” The words stunned Mary. These last three days were the worst days of her life. She felt a stirring of hope. Dare she hope?
For a little over two years, Mary Magdalene had been traveling with Jesus and his followers. It had been quite a journey filled with hope and fear, joy and sadness, laughter and frustration. Following Jesus was a real adventure indeed.
Before Jesus came into her life, Mary had been living in hell. She was not able to function as a woman let alone a human being.
Mary remembered how helpless she felt in those days, before Jesus. She was always angry. Unable to do anything. Depression crippled her. Loneliness consumed her. People called her crazy.
Then Jesus came into her life. He was able to see her completely — inside and out. Jesus healed her, casting out seven demons. Seven! No wonder she had been so angry and depressed.
For the first time in her life, Mary was thankful to be alive. Yes, she was alive! It was with joy and thankfulness that she accepted Jesus’ invitation to follow him. He gave her life!
Mary was happy for the first time in her life. She had friends. People actually wanted to be around her. She had a purpose. It was a wonderful life being with Jesus and the other followers.
Every time Mary witnessed Jesus healing someone, she relived her own healing. Oh what joy and thankfulness filled her heart! She often prayed, “Thank you, God, for Jesus!”
Now, here at the empty tomb, Mary remembered how Jesus had tried to prepare them for these last three days. But they were all blind. Mostly because it didn’t seem it could really happen. How could anyone so good as Jesus actually suffer such horrible things? Surely God wouldn’t allow it.
But reality was here. Why? How could this really be? Just a week ago people were shouting praises to Jesus. Then things started to crumble. Beginning in the temple when Jesus got so angry with the money changers. He yelled and threw things accusing people of being thieves. It was frightening.
The men told the women that Jesus did some strange things Thursday evening at the Passover meal too. He washed their feet. Jesus, their teacher and leader, doing something that only the lowliest of servants would ever do.
Oh, Jesus! Such a complicated man!  What did you mean giving the men bread and wine saying they were your body and blood? You scared them too when you predicted one would betray you and the others would desert you. How scary and awful a thought.
Then you told them they were to love one another as you loved them. Were you thinking about forgiveness?
Later that evening it got really ugly. Jesus was arrested after Judas betrayed him with a kiss. And true to his prediction, the men all ran away.
Jesus was taken away and beaten. He was mocked. The soldiers were so very cruel. And the fury of the people! Those who were singing his praises just last Sunday, were now shouting, “Crucify him!”
Seeing Jesus on the cross broke Mary’s heart. He looked so awful hanging up there. Once again, Mary experienced hopelessness and helplessness. What was going to happen to them now? What would they do without Jesus. How could they go on living? Mary felt her life was over.
Now, here she was at his tomb. And it was empty! Two men in the tomb asked her, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Indeed why? She had seen with her own eyes Jesus’ dead body. She had seen his dead body put into this very tomb.
Could it be that his body wasn’t stolen? Could it be that Jesus really was alive? Could it be that Jesus wasn’t among the dead?
Afraid to hope, Mary began crying. Then she heard it. “Mary!” Jesus was calling her name! Hope and joy overwhelmed her! Yes, it was Jesus. He wasn’t among the dead! She knew he was alive! She knew she was alive again because Jesus was alive! Thank you, God.
Alleluia!  Jesus is alive!

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