In Him [Christ, the Word] was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
— John 1:4-5
Someplace in Galilee, somewhere along the dusty roads of His travels, Mary Magdalene had met Jesus. It was no ordinary meeting, for He had cast seven demons from her. Joining His band of disciples, she followed Jesus wherever He went—no easy life, especially for a woman, especially in that time and place.
She followed Him all the way to Jerusalem … all the way to the foot of the cross. Through her tears, she watched Him die. Her loyalty brought her even to His tomb to see Him buried.
Can you imagine the devastation? Her Lord, her Savior, her Healer, her Rabbi. He had given her back her life, and so had become life to her. She had spent her time following Him, hearing His teaching, watching His ministry, seeing people healed and fed.
And now He was gone.
There was nothing else she could do for Him. Nothing, except to prepare His body properly for burial.
And so she returned that morning, the first day of the week. She didn’t wait for dawn’s light:
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark …”
“While it was still dark.” Was John referring only to the night sky? Or was this a devastation of the heart, a darkness of the soul?
Where did Mary go? She went to the last place she had seen Jesus. She went in the darkness, through the darkness. In spite of the darkness.
And she found that, even in that time of darkness, God had been at work. Something had happened.
The rest was a blur: her panic, the race to tell Peter and John the news, the comforting angels. Finally, she spoke with a Gardener, who was more than a Gardener. And finally, she saw Jesus.
No matter how wonderful our walk with God, it seems we all come to times of darkness. The question is, can we be faithful during those times of darkness? The times when it seems that all is lost, that God has turned away, that the things we thought we knew have all been illusions … those are the times when we, like Mary, must be faithful.
God is still at work … even when we only see the darkness. That’s part of the glory of the Resurrection.