Truth Is The Word

An encounter with the resurrected Lord

Scripture Reference: John 20:10-18

I am writing this from the perspective of Mary of Magdala when she encountered Jesus in the garden after He had risen from the dead.  Irrespective of whether you are male or female, try to see the scene through Mary’s eyes and perhaps the Living Lord will speak to you in some way as He did to her so long ago.

I don’t have words to describe how I feel about Jesus. When I first met him I was a seriously disturbed woman. I used to fly into uncontrollable rages and my mind was filled constantly with dark and perverse thoughts. Yet it was in this lost state that he found me. As his eyes locked onto mine, my mind exploded into a frenzy of fear and hate and rage, but I couldn’t break the power of his gaze. Then I heard him saying in a voice resonant with authority and majesty, “Come out of her!” As those words penetrated my mind I felt a great internal upheaval in my spirit as if something left my body, then another, and another; seven sickening expulsions in all. And then I was free! From that moment on I adored him, this Jesus who cast seven demons out of me with just one command.

I had watched him die a terrible death by crucifixion just days ago. When I saw him taking his last tortuous breath it felt as though I was dying too. A few hours later I saw the men come to take him down from the cross, and I followed them to the tomb where they laid him. I saw the soldiers rolling the huge stone across the opening and seal it with the imperial mark of Caesar.

Now I stood in the garden in front of an open tomb feeling almost as lost as I had when I first met him. There had been a powerful earthquake, the soldiers had fled, the stone had rolled to the side and I could see that the tomb was empty. Someone had taken away his body. Why? I had wanted to embalm him properly and express my love for him one last time and now I couldn’t! I had cried so much those last few days but again hot tears filled my eyes. Then, through the blur of weeping I saw two shining beings standing where Jesus must have lain.  One of them asked me why I was crying. I suppose I should have been shocked to see angels and hear them speak, but I was so overwrought that nothing seemed to matter anymore except my pain and loss. I told the angel that someone had taken my Lord and I didn’t know where to begin looking for him.

I turned away from the tomb to go back home and as I did so,  I saw a man standing there. I didn’t really pay him much attention until he too asked me why I was crying and who I was looking for. I don’t know why but I just assumed he was the gardener and my heart lifted a little because perhaps he knew where Jesus’ body had been taken. I asked him but instead of answering my question he just said, “Mary”.

I had been walking past him when he spoke my name but now I stopped and turned toward him. How many times had I heard Jesus speak my name like that? How well I knew that voice. Surely it couldn’t be him?! I wiped the tears from my eyes and gazed at him intently. He looked different but it was definitely him and he was smiling at me, his eyes full of delight. “Rabboni!” I cried out and in that moment my deep distress and unbearable emotional pain left me as surely as the demons had when I first met him, my saviour and teacher.

Dear reader, take some time now and wait upon the risen Lord. “Lord Jesus, what do you want to say to me at this time?”

Other encounters in this series:
 
I remember that night so well. I was sixteen at the time. I was lying on my sleeping mat in my loose outer robe, just drifting off when I heard them. A crowd has a voice all its own; deep and ugly sounding. I jumped up and went to the window. …read more
 
My memory doesn’t go back to before the accident because it happened when I was very small. A Roman officer was riding through our village when his horse was spooked by a snake that slithered out from under some baskets at the side of the road. … read more
 
A woman caught in adultery
I can’t deny it; I am not perfect and I admit that what I did was wrong. I was married off very young to a man much older than myself. I was more of a social asset for him than a life partner, and he showed me no affection whatsoever. …read more

A blind man encounters Jesus
I felt a bird once. My brother put it into my cupped hands. It struggled to escape and I felt the coarseness of its feathers, and its rough-leather legs… and then it broke free and was gone. …read more

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Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar. I have started a site called Classical Guitar SA to serve classical guitar enthusiasts in South Africa.