20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
Jesus lived thirty-three years upon the earth. His was a soul set aside for a very special purpose, and that purpose was to be the vehicle for the being we know as Christ, for the three years it took for Christ to complete his task in the physical world.
The Deed of Christ was to permeate a human being so completely that every aspect, including the physical body could be transformed. The arrival of Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb signifies the victory of Christ over the physical. The physical body is not there, it has been transmuted into the resurrection body.
The work of Christ is not completed, rather the first part is finished and the second is begun. The first part of the purpose of Christ is to transform the physical body. This is the oldest body human beings have. Christ will now work in our subtle bodies which we call the etheric, astral and soul bodies. This work will take fifty days. It will come to perfection at the feast of Pentecost.
For now, Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb and finds it empty. It is significant that it is a woman and not a man who makes this discovery. Mary Magdalene here represents the soul, the soul healed by Christ. The soul will change greatly on the path to Pentecost, but its journey begins here, and the journey of the soul begins with emptiness.
We come to a point in life where our expectations are dashed. We think to find something in our world, this may be love, position, relationship, spiritual understanding, material wealth, status, but nothing eventuates. What we receive is emptiness.
This emptiness comes as a great shock. We run and summon the soul faculty of love and the soul faculty of faith. Love always arrives first, but faith has the daring to enter the empty space and confirm our worst fears. There is nothing there.
The soul must abide in this space for a time. The old soul contents must empty out so that the new experiences of revealed spiritual purpose may enter in. We wait in patient expectation.
This beautiful portrait of Mary Magdalene sitting pensively outside the empty tomb reminds us that life is a Mystery. When we experience this Mystery, our minds stop, and our intellect becomes empty.
The theme for this day is waiting. What are we waiting for? We wait for many things, but most of all we wait for understanding and fulfilment. We await the discovery of our purpose. We await the vision which will complete our knowledge of who we are.
For this day, hold the image of Mary waiting beside the tomb. Like Mary, our soul is waiting too. In the silence of our waiting, let the longings of the soul rise gently into our consciousness. There is so much more to come...
In Mary Magdalene we see the feminine Love and emotions well up. Let there be no doubt about it, this woman was in love with Jesus. It would be stupid not to recognize this, a love emotional, full and warm. A Love which she was able to transform into a beautiful caring and sacrificing self. A love that would lay down Life itself, if it could save the life of another.
Rev Mario Schoenmaker, Easter Sunday Address, 22nd April, 1984