One Step Behind

Photo by Keith Johnston

“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb…!”

     Panic attack! Running Late! Can’t find your car keys or your cell phone! You’re running around like a chicken without your head on. You search here and there and then back to the same area in a few moments. You are beside ourselves, saying to yourself, “Where’s that key?” or “Where’s that phone of mine!” You are about to scream or maybe you have already!

    Mary Magdalene was in shock and in panic when she saw that the rolled stone was removed from the tomb of Jesus. Someone has stolen the body of Jesus during the Sabbath! She ran back home to tell the disciples including Peter and John. Peter and John couldn’t believe their ears. Peter and John ran to the tomb. Peter got there first for John was a step behind him.

    No one else in that home went to the tomb, not the other disciples. Mary returned to the tomb and was “one step behind” Peter and John. It doesn’t appear that she met the other women or Peter and John returning from the tomb or else Mary didn’t believe what they told her. She was the last one to the tomb that day. Everyone else has come and gone. She was one step behind everyone.

    Although Mary Magdalene was constantly one step behind everyone, her loved for Jesus took a step of faith. She remembered how Joseph and Nicodemus hurriedly anointed the dead body of Jesus. Perhaps as she bent downward to look into the tomb, she may have hoped to see the body of Jesus.

    As her tears streamed down her cheek, she gazed into the tomb.  His body wasn’t there! She saw and heard two angels saying, “Woman, why are you crying?” She was a step behind in her comprehending what she saw and heard. Then perhaps, she saw a shadow of man at the entrance of the tomb. She turned around and saw a man there. She thought that he was the gardener.  He saw the tears on her cheek and asked, “Woman, why are you crying?” She was a step behind in understanding that Jesus was standing before her. And after that conversation, she was a step behind everyone else in returning to the house. The women, Peter, and John were already there. She was the last one into the house. Mary was one step behind others.

    Are you “one step behind” everyone else? Are you distracted or perhaps distraught about what you have to do and am dragging your feet behind? Do you wish that you were there when everyone was there? If your heart is right as Mary Magdalene was right, you’re never too late!

    You may be “late” to the party, but you may be among the “first” to share what God has done for you. Don’t discount yourself out because you are one step behind everyone else. God may have a surprise for you even as he did for Mary Magdalene. She saw angels and she saw Jesus! She was the first to share her experience with the disciples and the other women. Yes, we may be a step behind others, but we can take a step of faith and be first to tell others of what the resurrected Jesus has done for you. A step behind, but it can be one can step up!

Kingston Tong

March 31st, 2024