He Knows My Name
Sharon W. Betters
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise (Luke 24:5-7).
Deep depression most likely dragged Mary and the disciples into a dark pit. The One she loved was dead. But there was one more thing she could do to serve her master. We know the women followed His body to the Garden of Gethsemane and watched as Joseph of Arimathea tenderly and carefully placed His body in the tomb (Luke 23:55-56). Instead of curling up in the fetal position, giving in to fear, Mary led several women to the tomb with spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. They went at early dawn while it was still dark. They knew the tomb was sealed with a large stone. Who did they think would roll the stone away and give them access? This is such a picture of faith, taking one step at a time, not knowing where those steps would lead. They need not have worried about the stone because it was already rolled away. They did not find the dead body of their Savior. Instead, two men (angels) in “dazzling apparel” stood by them. The women bowed to the ground, frightened once more. Yet the men were not there to hurt them but to give great news:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:5).
The angels reminded them of Jesus’ own words:
“Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” (Luke 24:6-7).
I love this! Because I was a pastor’s wife and Bible study teacher, my friends could have concluded it was useless to remind me of God’s Word while I was in the throes of grief. Yet, His word was the only unchangeable factor in my life. More than once, friends moved me from a dark midnight to see a light in that darkness by reminding me of Jesus’ words, just as the angels reminded the women of Jesus’ words with a declaration, not a question.
The women did as the angels said. They told the disciples about Jesus’ missing body and the message of the angels. The disciples responded as many of us might have. They discounted their testimony, concluding the women were just emotionally undone, and this was all wishful thinking:
And they (the women) remembered his words and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them (Luke 24:8-11).
How often do we, too, refuse to believe the testimony of others about the life-giving power of Jesus, concluding our circumstances are beyond His help?
Jesus’ crucifixion crushed His disciples so much that they did not remember Him telling them this would happen. Fear and a sense of betrayal by their Rabbi force the three years of teaching into the dark places in their hearts. Even when Mary told them Jesus was alive, they refused to believe her, their grief too deep, blinding them to the light peaking through the darkness. Oh sisters, how often we are in that same place. Betrayal, tragedy, unspeakable sin against us or someone we love, death – all of these can crush our faith and cause us to question whether anything we believe about Jesus and His Father is true. But God. He pursues His lame lambs as He pursued the women at the tomb and the disciples. The angels spoke the truth, and the women remembered the words of Jesus. When our hurting friends react as the disciples did, we may want to give up trying to remind them of the promises of God. But the message of the women broke through the walls of fear in two of the disciples. John and Peter ran to the grave, desperate to cling to any thread of hope. Oh, friends, this is a message for you if you are ready to quit, so broken you cannot imagine embracing faith in Jesus ever again. This is the time to run to Him, to hear the messages of hope your friends bring, reminding you of His mercy, love, and grace. He calls you by name.
How can it be – You know my name! You know my going and my comings, the words I speak, the words I hold back. You know my heart. Yet, you love me completely. May your grace flow from me to others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.