Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” --John 20:16
Mary Magdalene went tomb that first Easter morning, not expecting it to be open and empty. Tombs are places of closure, finality, death. An open, empty tomb is the start of something new—a different story is beginning. Mary thinks it may be one of foul play—someone has taken the body of Jesus.
Mary is so devastated, she can do nothing but stand at the tomb and cry. When Jesus approaches her, she does not recognize him. Why is this? How could she not recognize the man who healed her of her demons? How could she not recognize the man that she had been traveling the countryside with? How could she not recognize man whose ministry she shared?
Perhaps her tears blurred her vision. Perhaps a walking, talking Jesus so defied her expectations her brain could not have registered that it was really him. Perhaps his body was a more physically perfect version of himself that she couldn’t recognize. Whatever the reason, Mary doesn’t realize she is talking to her friend and teacher, Jesus.
And then he calls her by name.
With one word, she knows. She knows it’s the man she aches for. Each time I read that passage, I imagine infinite love and tenderness in Jesus’ voice. With one word, her name, he shows her truth. He has been resurrected. She experiences God’s revelation in a single, personal word. She is no longer blind to who he is. She sees Christ. She sees her savior.
I can’t help but wonder what that moment will be like. While I experience Jesus’ call upon my life and have been following like Mary, I feel that greater understanding is coming. What will happen when I fully encounter the risen Christ? What will the moment of revelation show me? What will it feel like when Jesus calls my name?