“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb…Jesus says to her “Woman why are you weeping, Whom are you seeking? The Song of Songs expresses her love for Jesus.
“All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. “Have you seen the one my heart loves?” Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house.”
(Song of Songs 3, 1-4.)
The Song of Songs is one of the most neglected books in the Hebrew Scriptures. The brief book is collection of physical love poems. It wasn’t until I connected the above passage with the sinner Mary Magdalen that I understood the resurrection in a different way, a more meaningful and personal one.
Mary Magdalene, like Mary the sister of Lazarus who annointed Jesus at Bethany, exemplifies the love of God by the way in which she achingly searches for Jesus. “I held him and would not let him go,” says the Song of Songs. This is how we may understand God’s yearning for humanity. “Have you seen the one my heart loves?” The Risen Lord Jesus searches for us as our divine lover. Death could not hold him or extinguish his love for us.
The first chapters of Genesis in the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of creation has God ask Adam a question that echoes down the centuries.
“Adam where are you,” asks the Lord God after the man and woman have eaten of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. The story speaks of a profound truth that confronts all of us at sometime or other in our lives.
Our Lord Jesus Christ echoes that question when he asks his disciples – “But Who do you say I am?”. The entire Scriptures in a variety of different ways ask that question.
We can dismiss the Old Testament as irrelevant, but without it we will not fathom the purposes of God. The Old Testament is a romance in which God and Israel dance, and promise, and separate and reconcile. The New Testament not only amplifies the question but also humanizes it in Jesus.
The Scriptures portray the love story between the Creator and his people. It’s the story in which God uses all possible means to endue us with his life. We’re no longer held by our past mistakes and sins, but stand at the threshold of a life where God makes all things new. The resurrection of Jesus exemplifies this truth in time, history and eternity.
One fact stands out above all the rest in the accounts given by the four evangelists. The resurrection is a giving back of Jesus to his loved ones by God.
The Crucified Risen Lord is given back to Peter, who denied him, to the disciples, who all forsook him and fled, and to the women who loyally followed him his ministry to Calvary and the tomb. The Holy Spirit gives us the whole life and death of the Risen Lord.
“Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.”
A blessed and joyous Easter to us all. Christ is Risen.