I’m writing this as I’m meditating on the most beautiful moment in the history of the world. It is the moment when the risen Jesus says, “Mary.” Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows the names of his sheep. And Mary was a most earnest seeker of Jesus. She had a past to be ashamed of, baggage that would embarrass most of us, things we wouldn’t talk about in polite company.
When Jesus call out to Mary, He was revealing Himself as the risen Savior. Everyone who knew Jesus, who was a witness to His unjust trial, knew that Jesus had died. John was there at the cross and saw the soldier pierce Jesus’ side. The centurions and soldiers knew Jesus was dead—so dead they didn’t have to break his legs to hasten death. The disciples knew Jesus was dead and ran away in fear.
So that’s why Jesus appearance to Mary and the speaking of words to her were and are so profound. It means that Jesus is alive. And if Jesus is alive, it means that the salvation he purchased on the cross for you and me is secure. It means the Father was satisfied by the sacrifice of the Son.
For you and me, it means we have a substitute, Jesus, who pleased God on our behalf. IT means we can now walk with God in peace. It means the wrath of God toward me for my sin was satisfied in Christ.
It also means that I can please God. It means that all of the commandments of God, those things I must to do obey God, I can now do. This is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “without the resurrection, we are of all men most miserable.” Why are we miserable? Because if Jesus stayed dead, then there is no sacrifice for sins, I have no substitute, and I have no way of pleasing God. I’m still under his wrath.
But, because Jesus rose. Because Jesus called Mary’s name (and calls my name and your name), Easter is a moment of grand celebration, the greatest holiday on the calendar. And really Easter should be celebrated every day.
This is why the most important question in your life and mine is this: “What will I do with Jesus.” There is really no other question in the world. This is a question for those who don’t know Jesus and seek him. But it’s also a question for those who do know Jesus and yet seek to follow him faithfully. The gospel message is a call to unbelievers and a call to believers.
So as you work your way through life, filter every life’s question through this important grid: What am I doing with Jesus?