At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
Oh the beauty of the stone rolled away from the tomb. When Mary first came upon this sight she was afraid that someone had stolen her beloved Jesus' body. What she didn't know was that He was not in grave clothes any longer. He had already risen from His temporary slumber and was waiting for just the right moment to appear to her.
I am humbled to know that our Lord chose to appear to a woman first. This is significant to me because in the time in which they were living, women were deemed as unimportant, almost an afterthought. To me, this is an example of my Jesus showing me that I am not insignificant. Of all the people He could've appeared to first, He didn't choose the most influential disciple. Instead, He chose one that was quietly going about her business, taking care of her Lord's body. This continued the example He set in His earthly ministry of attending to the poor and broken-hearted.
I can never fathom what was done on the cross for me the day Jesus died for my sin. I can not imagine the horror Mary must have felt as she stood in the crowd and watched her Savior be beaten, degraded, and ultimately killed by men. As bad as that must have been for her, can you imagine the overwhelming joy, ecstatic joy, that she felt when she saw Him on the other side of the cross? The disbelief? The eventual realization that she was seeing her Savior as He was truly meant to be seen?
I know the joy I experience because of what He did for me. I have not seen Jesus face to face, nor placed my hands on His nail-scarred body, but I have faith that one day I will. And what a glorious day that will be! Then, I can say that I've felt what Mary did that day over 2000 years ago and I will be complete.