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The Lenten Journey – He Called Her by Name

He Called Her by Name
John 20:13-17

It’s the third day and a lot has happened. The disciples and Jesus had just enjoyed a celebratory feast on Thursday evening, only to see Jesus betrayed and dragged away later that night. On Friday, they watched as Jesus was wrongfully accused and sentenced to death by crucifixion, but not before he was beaten unmercifully and made to carry his own cross. They buried their beloved leader in a borrowed tomb and in the moments to come were left to wonder what had gone wrong. Or had it gone wrong? It is in this state of being, having endured so much, we arrive at the third day.

I can only imagine the followers of Jesus who were still left were bewildered and confused. Add sorrowful to that equation and that makes matters even worse. They go down to sit at the savior’s tomb just to be close to him. We all can relate to that feeling, longing to be close to someone who is far away whether by death or distance.

In their attempt to be closer to Jesus, the disciples go down to the tomb, only to find it empty. Now they are completely stunned and baffled. I am sure they are wondering “When will this nightmare end?!?!?” The men, having taken all that could stand, turned and went home.

Mary Magdalene, determined to find out what happened to Jesus stayed crying and trying to figure out her next move. Imagine that her emotions were on overload. All she could do was focus on accomplishing what she set out to do, which was just find Jesus. The angels asked her why she was crying and I can hear the irritation in her voice as she replied, wondering why they would ask for an answer to such an obvious question. Her irritation and sorrow were so high that she turned to leave only to hear another person ask her yet again why she was crying. At this point, in utter frustration, she demanded that if the whereabouts of Jesus’ body was known, just reveal it now. I am sure she thought she was being played with and it probably felt quite cruel given all she had been through. Then it happened. He called her name. Mary, one word. However, with that one word, life was never the same for Mary. Mary couldn’t see Jesus. All she could see was her loss. That is until Jesus called her name and she recognized his voice. Then she knew everything would be alright. Her Savior lived!
Often in life we get so overwhelmed by circumstances, emotions, and day to day happenings in general that we give up and walk away. Or if we do stay to fight, our blinding pain revents us from seeing that which is right in front of us. On this Resurrection Sunday morning, we celebrate the reason why we can press past the sufferings of this world and grasp hold of the hope that lies within. That hope is Jesus ALIVE and risen. The same Jesus who called Mary by her name, lifting her out of despair and defeat, knows your name and my name too. I remember when he called my name, moving me from my state of self-destruction to a place of hope for a better tomorrow. Do you remember your “he called my name” moment? I’m sure you do, because it is unforgettable. It is this moment that allows me to sing the words of the song writer with conviction, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives! I am sure this is how Mary felt when he called her name that Resurrection Sunday morning long, long ago. Our Savior lives and life is worth the living just because he lives!

Minister Tracey Bowen Bell
Bethel Apostolic Temple
Miami, FL
Follow me @HopeCoach_TBB

BELOVED,

He is Risen! Thank you so much for being a part of the Lenten Journey 2014. Praise God for all of you and our guest writers. If God has blessed you during his season, share your blessings in the comment sent.

Stay tuned for more messages as we now journey from the Cross to Pentecost! As we step into the next season, let’s prepare to listen more, learn more and love the Lord who paid the ultimate price so that we may live. Let’s begin with listening. This coming Thursday, prepare to disconnect from some electronics so we can connect with God on a deeper level. You can do it, God can help!

Keep up at www.twitter.com/vashtimckenzie.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie



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  1. I have been blessed during this lenten season by taking more time to spend with our Father at the start of each day by getting on my knees to pray and reading this and other devotionals. I can feel his presence in my life now more than ever and I don’t ever want to lose the feeling of comfort and assurity that I have today. I am glad to have shared this time with you. Thank you. Amen.

  2. Pastor Delphine Lynetta Vasser says:

    I have too been blessed and challenged by each of the gifted and anointed writer that shared with us doing this season of Lent and Resurrection Celebration, I am truly grateful that we concluded with He know my Name. Truly that is Good News, in spite of what Jesus endured on the Cross, and upon being resurrected, he yet, know Mary.
    Again Thank you and thanks be to God.
    Special Thank you to Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, for introducing us, to these awesome Men and Women of God.

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