The Resurrections is Personal

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It was That Mary… the Mary who broke an alabaster jar full of costly fragrance and poured it on Jesus (Matthew 26:11). She was the one; who was moved to anoint the living God. As she poured out the expression of her love and faith through a flask with expensive fragrance, she didn’t know death was close at hand for Jesus and she was actually anointing him for burial. Have you ever felt the love for God so deeply that you find yourself moved to do things you can’t explain? Is Jesus greater than your treasures? Have you ever worshipped God and felt the sense of your heart expanding twice its size?

This was the same Mary of Bethany. That Mary… who sat at the feet of the Messiah, listening intently to every word he spoke, soaking up his spiritual wisdom, truth, conviction, forgiveness and his radiant love.  All the while, her sister Martha complained that she wasn’t helping with the chores. (Luke 10:32).  I can see in my mind’s eye, Mary abandoning the cares and concerns of this world’s temporary duties.  She allowed them to fall away, out of site so she could listen to Jesus with an open heart and attitude of worship. How is it for you when you prioritize Jesus this same way over the trivial things of this world? Do you find yourself filled with his satisfying love and peace like Mary must have found at His feet?

Understanding who Mary is and the relationship she had with Jesus helps to shed light on a specific breathtaking encounter in John 11; when Jesus raised Lazarus back to life. You see it was Mary of Bethany, That Mary… who was a dedicated follower of Jesus, sister of Martha and Lazarus whom I am seeking to understand.  I wonder about all the unspoken words that are not recorded in this account between her and Jesus. What did Mary say to Him that only her eyes and heart could say? I can only imagine the incredible confusion and grief she must have had when her brother died. Have you ever been overwhelmed with emotion that no words are available to describe your pain?

As we read this story we discover that Mary and Martha joined together to send a message to Jesus about their brother’s illness. Mary’s heart held onto hope that Jesus would return to her city to heal her brother. She’d seen him heal hundreds of people if not thousands. Strangers in fact! She knew Jesus loved Lazarus, surely he would come quickly.  I can only imagine that her hope became more intense as the days slipped away and her brother became sicker and sicker. Have you ever clung to hope with such certainty because of your relationship with God- certain for a good outcome, only to be disappointment? Did it rock your faith? Make you question everything you thought you knew about God and his love for you? I wonder if Mary felt the same in that breathtaking moment.

Mary knew there was a threat that he would be stoned if he came back to Judea. She must have had enormous faith to request him to return to this danger.  When Mary met him in the breathtaking moment, I wonder if she was concerned about that. Was she desperately seeking help and didn’t think twice about it or was she confident that he would not be detoured?  Have you ever resisted making a request of God because the odds seemed too impossible?

When Jesus finally arrived in Judea where her brother now lay dead, it was two days after he received the news. This breathtaking moment has had me captivated for weeks as I seek to understand how, That Mary… felt and processed this tragic and glorious outcome that was caused by Jesus’ delay.

Then Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him,
“Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:32 NKJ

It was That Mary… who must have struggled with two days of hope, trust and an incomplete faith. I am sure her heart had plenty more to say. This encounter continues with Jesus’ response.

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping,
He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?”
John 11:33 NKJ

It is such a precious moment to share with Jesus and Mary; their friendship, history and exchange of trust, love and disappointment. The completion of Mary’s faith comes in the experience of the death of her brother Lazarus and comprehending that Jesus is the Resurrection.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? 
John 33:25 NKJ

            Had Lazarus not died, Jesus would not have been able to show this world that we can personally trust Him to give us life for eternity. It was That Mary… who saw her very own brother die and be resurrected back to life. It was so very painful to experience and so very personal. Mary wept surely of grief. I can only speculate that she also wept because her faith needed to grow. Perhaps Jesus wept because the ones he loved didn’t yet understand his personal role in the Resurrection. They wept together, but for two very different reasons.

Do you believe that Jesus weeps with you? Do you believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life? Do you believe that it’s personal because He loves you?

Sheri Page is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She has been married to her husband for 10 years and cherishes their blended family of 6 adult children and 9 grandchildren. Sheri has worked in and alongside ministries for over 30 years. She has served many roles within the walls of a church including, a Women’s Ministry director and assistant to a Care Pastor where she served people who were walking through Baptism, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care and benevolence. Sheri loves to share her curiosity and unique understanding of life with Jesus by her side. She is a 5-year breast cancer survivor and considers that experience to be one of the greatest gifts God has given her. More writings from Sheri can be found on her blog: