With what depth of attention do you read the Scriptures? Do you place yourself there as though you were watching the scenes personally? Try it. Slow down. Don’t read just for the sake of reading.
One of the most emotion-filled passages of Scripture is found in the 20th chapter of John. Jesus had been crucified and Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices, which was the practice in those days. But when she got there, she found the tomb empty. It’s not as though there hadn’t been enough drama the past three days as she witnessed the horror of the crucifixion. Now this? She comes to the tomb and he’s gone? Can you imagine the frustration of the already emotionally-spent Mary? She just broke down crying.
Then suddenly Jesus was standing there, but it was early morning and still dark and she didn’t recognize him.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’
She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him,
‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him,
and I will take him away.’”
And then comes one of the most heart-wrenching passages in the Scriptures:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’
She turned and said to him, ‘Rabboni!’ which is to say, ‘Teacher.'”
Don’t read that in a monotone voice. When he said to her “Mary,” – first shock filled her mind, and recognition filled her heart, and she cries out with all the passion that a human being can have, “my Teacher!!!”
Can you imagine it?
Next, he suddenly appears to his disciples.
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,
when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them,
‘Peace be with you.’
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”
Don’t read those words they “were glad” in a monotone voice. Glad? Are you kidding? Can you imagine having witnessed the trauma of the crucifixion and seeing his dead body mangled and bloodied — and now they’re hiding in a room for fear that the Jewish leaders might come after them too, and suddenly — very, very suddenly, Jesus is standing there before them!? And he shows them the nail prints in his hands!? Oh they were glad alright. They were speechless. Imagine them sitting there in total shock.
Never read the Scriptures in a monotone voice. Put yourself in the story and see and touch and feel what the passage is describing. These stories are true stories, they actually happened, and they were overwhelmingly heart-rending.
I stood at that garden tomb one day and believe me, it was an overwhelming experience. Read about it here:
In The Garden Tomb