Jn.20:15,16 – He said to her, “Dear woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”Mary answered, thinking he was only the gardener, “Sir, if you have taken his body somewhere else, tell me, and I will go and . . .” “Mary,” Jesus interrupted her. Turning to face him, she said, “Rabboni!” (Aramaic for “my teacher”)
This passage is beautiful, unveiling the personal and intimate love Christ has for His sons and daughters. Mary’s depression was quenched with one word from the Lord. It wasn’t just any word, Jesus called Mary by her name. The sweetness in His voice instantly healed her broken heart. Here is how the Passion Notes describe this moment.
“Only one thing was necessary to establish Jesus’ identity–his uttering her name. One of the strange commonplaces of life is that the most penetrating utterance one can understand, no matter by whom spoken, is one’s personal name. Furthermore, the way it is spoken often identifies the speaker. No gardener would ever have known her name, and no one else would pronounce it the way Jesus did. Turning again for a second look, she addressed him in Aramaic as “Rabboni” (a term by which one addressed a teacher). In this ecstatic moment of recognition, Mary must have prostrated herself before Jesus and clasped his feet, as the other women had done.”
The Lord knows His sheep and He calls them by name. John recorded this in his gospel, Jn.10:3 – “And the sheep recognize the voice of the true Shepherd, for he calls his own by name and leads them out, for they belong to him.” Mary recognized her Shepherd’s voice because she had walked closely with Him. That’s the privilege of being one of the sheep in His pasture, when we walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death we fear no evil because He is with us. Mary realized in the garden that the Lord was there and she was going to be okay.
Many of us may feel like Mary in the garden that Resurrection morning. The tomb was empty but she felt all alone. Maybe you need to get quiet, get alone. Maybe that’s what this season has been about all along. In the stillness of the morning you may just hear His voice. If you are one of His sheep, He will be calling you by name. Follow Him, I have heard that He knows where the green pastures and the still waters are.