How does Jesus say your name?
Have you ever thought of that? Jesus does say your name.
As we are heading into the Holy Week, the week just before Easter, I’ve been thinking about Mary Magdalene. Especially her experience on that first Easter morning.
You remember how it went—on the third day, at the crack of dawn, at the first possible moment, Mary Magdalene and a few other women went to Jesus’ tomb with their spices and oil to re-embalm the body.
After all, it had been done by two men earlier and I am sure she though it would need to be redone.
To their utter dismay, they discovered the tomb was empty.
And Mary was frantic: A man spoke to her and asked her, “Woman—why are you so upset?” And Mary replied, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him.” (John 20:2)
She assumed the fellow was the gardener, but Jesus revealed himself to her. How? Simply by saying her name, “Mary”.
Oh, how amazing that must have sounded.
When Jesus simply addressed her as “woman”—Mary didn’t recognize him. Any woman could be addressed that way. But when he spoke her name—her name—her heart must have stopped and leapt and burst all at the same time!
How would he would have said it?
Depending on how someone speaks your name—you can tell what's coming.
When I was young and got in trouble, my mother would use my full name. “Clayton—get in here!” Did your parents do that to you?
Or how does your name sound when spoken with gratitude? “Oh, thank you Clay. You didn’t have to do that.”
What about when your name is spoken by one who adores you?
Jody can say my name in many ways—but it is always a beautiful sound when it comes from her mouth. She loves me. No one says my name like she does.
And Jesus—Jesus who calls you by name—how does he say it?
Your name is always wonderful in Jesus’ mouth. He loves you.
Jesus loved Mary Magdalene. He spoke her name. And her response? She fell at his feet and worshiped him.
Just stay with that moment for a second. She saw him crucified. She watched his broken and bloodied body be wrapped and laid to rest in a tomb and now she has come to anoint his body with herbs and spices and he is gone.
Did Mary understand what Jesus had said about rising from the dead? Maybe—maybe not.
But her first thought in this moment—is that his body has been stolen. And not by those who love him.
She is panicking.
And then Jesus is standing before her—fully alive. Fully himself. Speaking her name.
Oh, what a sound. Oh, what a moment.
No matter what you are going through. No matter what you have done. No matter what has been done to you. You may not even understand all that Jesus has said.
It is all going to be OK.
Jesus is speaking your name.
And it is good.