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May 8, 2023 8:00 pm
“Who is this stranger?” A college student in Georgia (USA) asked that question when a fellow student texted him saying a DNA test showed they could be brothers. Separated by adoption almost twenty years earlier, the young man texted a reply in which he asked what name the other student had been given at birth. He immediately answered, “Tyler.” Replied the other, “Yes!!! You are my brother!” Recognized by his name!
Consider how a name plays a key role in the Easter story. As it unfolds, Mary Magdalene comes to Christ’s tomb, and she weeps when she finds His body missing. “Woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asks (John 20:15). She didn’t recognize Him, however, until He spoke her name, “Mary” (v. 16).
Hearing Him say it, she “cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (Which means ‘Teacher’)” (v. 16). Her reaction expresses the joy believers in Jesus feel on Easter morning, recognizing that our risen Christ conquered death for all, knowing each of us as His children. As He told Mary, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (v. 17).
In Georgia, two reunited brothers bonded by name, vowing to take “this relationship to the next level.” On Easter, we praise Jesus for already taking the utmost step to rise in sacrificial love for those He knows as His own. For you and me, indeed, He’s alive!