Happy Easter! In celebration of this auspicious day, I gift you with an excerpt from my yet to be released novel, Song of the Beloved – Jesus through the eyes of Mary Magdalene. Enjoy another perspective on Jesus’ resurrection from the woman who knew him the best. And, don’t forget the virtual service, available HERE. Happy Easter!
In Mary’s words:
While Jesus had done his best to prepare me for what lay ahead, seeing his broken, beaten body hanging on the cross cleaved my heart in two. The man I loved beyond all else lay dead. He was gone. As the stone fell before the entrance to the tomb, a strange sense of finality filled my being. It is finished. Never again would I see my beloved. Never would I hear his strong, loving voice. Never again would I behold the curl of his hair, nor the twinkle in his chameleon eyes that seemed to carry within them the entire world. Never again would I feel the tremor of my heart when his skin brushed against mine or the peaceful calm of his serene presence as he sat beside me in prayer. The terror and inexplicable grief that had pierced my heart was replaced by a cold nothingness. I felt neither joy, nor sorrow, anger nor contentment. I felt nothing but the cold, stark barrenness of the tomb where my beloved’s dead body now lay.
After the final refrain of the Kaddish, we returned the two miles to Bethany, to the house of my brother Lazarus, in silence. Too aggrieved to partake of the Sabbath meal, we retreated to our separate quarters in silence.
On the morning after the Sabbath, I awoke before dawn in the same way that I had every day after Jesus healed me and raised me from the death in which I had existed. Upon waking, I expected to feel nothing but the numbness of the days past. I expected to desire nothing but to roll over and return to the world of sleep. Instead, I felt the urge to resume my ordinary routine of morning meditation in the garden. I arose and proceeded into the garden to the bench I had shared with Jesus every morning for the past three years. I approached the bench and lovingly ran my hand over its marble seat recalling what Jesus and I had shared in this sacred space. The grief of this loss suddenly overtook me and I collapsed on the ground as my tears splattered over our bench.
As I knelt beside the bench weeping with head in hands, I felt a faint shift in the air around me. I lifted my head slightly to see if perhaps Lazarus had come out to join me. As I looked up, my heart leaped into my throat and ceased beating. My beloved Jesus stood there before me. I rubbed my eyes to make sure it was not some trick of the rising sun, but there he was as real as he had been all those past times in prayer and even more so, he stood before me in flesh and blood.
I stood and reached out to embrace him, to feel his skin on my cheek, and he opened his arms to return my embrace. We had held each other for but a moment, when Jesus gently pulled away. He took my face in his hands, lightly kissed me on the lips and said, “Mary, I am with you always, even until the end of time and it is time for you to come into your own power, to embrace your own Christhood. In this, I must ascend. And, you must not cling to me so that you too may rise. You must go to my brothers in Jerusalem to let them know I have risen and you must explain to them its meaning.” With that he kissed me again on the mouth. “Mary, be empowered in the flame of the Shekinah, God’s Holy Spirit.” He departed from my sight as quickly and as silently as he had arrived.
I stood there in silent wonder. Even death had no power over my beloved. As sure as he had been here just one week ago, he stood before me again. I felt his touch, the brush of his lips on mine, the comfort of his embrace. Just as suddenly, he was gone. I inhaled deeply in the hopes of comprehending this experience and the cock crowed. I remembered Simon’s denial of Jesus and was provoked by Jesus’ words, “Go to my brothers in Jerusalem.” I ran into the house to be greeted by Martha, Salome and Lazarus’ sleepy faces. “I have seen the Lord. He is risen just as he said he would.” I ran to each of them in turn, took their hands in mine, and looked into their eyes, “It is true. He has conquered death. He came to me in the garden. He is risen!” As I relayed the message to their open minds and hearts, they were able to see the truth as I had witnessed it. As a group we embraced in celebration. “We must go to Jerusalem! Jesus instructed me to tell his brothers there that he has been raised from the dead.” We immediately departed for Jerusalem where we knew the Galilean disciples stayed in hiding.