Inside the tomb were two angels who asked her why she was crying. Then behind her came the voice of a man she thought was a gardener—but it was Jesus. When He spoke her name, “Mary,” she recognized Him and was ecstatic (John 20:1–16).
As I read this, my eyes were opened to a key for getting over rejection, pain, and losses from the past.
For Mary, her pain was the loss of a friend and leader who may have been the first to ever care for her. Notice these key elements of this account in John 20:1–16: The other disciples spent time at the tomb and went back home, but Mary stayed there crying. Mary looked into the tomb, focused on her loss, similar to when we focus on the loss and pain of our past.
There Is No Life in the Tomb
Too often, we focus on the tomb of our past. Yes, there is an appropriate amount of time to deal with grief and loss. But there is also a time to look in a new direction. You cannot live your life at the tomb of your past. Did you notice where Jesus was? He was behind her. Mary had to stand up and turn 180 degrees from the tomb. This symbolizes the need for us to turn our focus away from our past pain and loss.
Notice that Jesus appeared as a gardener. This symbolizes that when you focus on the future, God is there to help things grow and bring life. Also, Mary saw two angels inside the tomb. The symbolism here is that inside every painful experience is a blessing from God, if we can only recognize it.
When Jesus said, “Mary,” her eyes were opened and she immediately recognized Him. Oftentimes, we are not able to recognize the work of God in our painful situation. I started to realize that inside every painful experience is a gift. By simply changing your focus, you can allow the past to strengthen you and give you the necessary tools to help others who are camped out at their tombs.
This is an important part of hearing the voice of God. As you develop a close relationship with Him, God will find ways to let you know He loves and cares for you specifically. The power of turning away from the past and negative things is vital to receiving all that God has for us!
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