Jesus Shows Up to Messy People
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
- John 20:11-14
This Mary was called Magdalene (see John 20:1). She's the one who had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus (see Luke 8:1-2). What a great gift that Jesus shows up to Mary first out of all the people he could have chosen. Author and pastor Timothy Keller puts it this way:
Now, is this an accident? I don’t believe so... He chose her. And that means Jesus Christ specifically chose a woman, not a man; chose a reformed mental patient, not a pillar of the community; chose one of the support team, not one of the leaders, to be the first Christian. How much clearer can he be? He is saying, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. My salvation is not based on pedigree, it’s not based on moral attainments, raw talent, level of effort, or track record. I have come not to call those who are strong, but to call those who are weak. And I am not mainly your teacher but your savior. I’m here to save you not by your work, but by my work.” And the minute you understand that, the minute you see yourself in Mary Magdalene’s place, something will change forever in you.
- Timothy Keller, Encounters with Jesus
Take some time and ponder what it means for you that Jesus came for messy people. Talk with him about what comes to your heart and mind.