A Heart Controlled by Christ
From Notes of an Address on John 20:11-18
The narratives and miracles of John’s gospel refer much to the subject of Life. Matthew presents to us the Goodness of God—“rain on the just and on the unjust”—and leads to repentance, of which we hear so much in that Gospel. Luke presents to us the subject of Grace and speaks more of Salvation than any other Gospel.
John has its character in love and life. Salvation is not the full purpose of God, but we are saved to live.
Mary’s history as recorded in Luke 8:2, is in keeping with the gospel in which it is written, and shows the grace that had met and saved her.
This is the way God takes to make us appreciate the Saviour whom He has sent. He makes the Lord Jesus Christ (for whom naturally we have neither eyes nor heart) indispensable to our very existence. Here grace met Mary in her need and saved her out of it that she might live in divine love. Love it was that brought her to the sepulchre and love it was that kept her there. She does not come there to be loved by Him but just for His own sake. She was in distress and it was His absence that caused it. The world was a blank to her because He was gone! Her home was in the presence of the Lord—without Him she had no home. Peter and John might go to their home, but she had none to go to.
At first the angels were a sight for Mary; but what a sight Mary was for angels! Here was a heart once possessed by Satan, now it is possessed by the love of Christ.
She could get no consolation from angels, but she ultimately became the greatest of all apostles for the moment.
She waits still at the sepulchre to get in touch with the Lord. She was found at the last place whither they had traced Him: she lingers at the sepulchre weeping. She that seeketh findeth, and she found far more than she ever sought.
She sought a dead Christ and she found a living Christ. “He that loveth Me . . . I will love him and will manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).
Angels might say, “Why weepest Thou?” but He could touch a deeper spring and say, “Whom seekest thou?”
Her answer to the angels was, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.”
Jesus stood behind and said, “Why weepest thou?” also, but adding, “Whom seekest thou?” It would give the impression that He wanted to hear her say over again, “My Lord.” How sweet to His ear! Have you ever been near enough to the Lord in secret to look up into His face and whisper in His ear, “My Lord!”
He said to her “Mary”—and instantly two hearts were together. She would have held Him but He says, No. “Touch me not”—There is another heart to be revealed—My Father! He said, “Go to My brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”
She became a vessel meet for the Master’s use. It was not John, not Peter, who were thus commissioned. She became an apostle to the apostles; and in her message we get Christianity in embryo. And His message signified that He was bringing those whom He loved into the same circle of love and relationship and into the same intimacy of love with Himself.
Thus it is that love gets as its answer the revelation of the Father; i.e. Christianity in its true character.