How Mary Magdalene and I met Jesus the Gardener

how I met Jesus in person
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How Mary Magdalene and me both met Jesus
the Gardener

I experienced Jesus' incredible energy of pure love when I went on a pilgrimage to Israel. But I still wanted to meet him in person! Here's what happened.

The holiest place in Christendom is quite possibly the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which was built over the site where Jesus was crucified, laid to rest, and resurrected.

(Yes, it’s a massive big church!)

When visiting the church you can see the holiest of the holy – the actual tomb stone where Jesus was laid to rest. And where the resurrection happened.

It is in a tiny chapel at the heart of this massive church. You have to bow to enter and then there’s an even smaller chamber inside where you literally have to get on your knees to enter. Of course this is done intentionally: we humble ourselves and make ourselves soft and open. So we can receive the blessings.

The tiny chamber feels intimate and private. Already on my knees I bow my head in front of the marble slab. So this is where the miracle of miracles happened. I lightly and respectfully touch the very edge of the marble slap where Jesus lay with the tip of my fingers.

I expect it to be cold but to my great surprise the slab feels soft and warm!

And not only that but I suddenly feel a huge wave of love flooding me. The living presence of Jesus.

The alchemy of what happened here is timeless, limitless.

Although you’re not allowed to stay long inside this sacred chamber I come out with my heart so full, feeling I have been granted a huge blessing – not to say a miracle to connect so directly to the energy of Jesus.

I wonder around the rest of the church in a daze, with tears still streaming down my face.

Mary Magdalene comes to my mind and her miraculous encounter with Jesus right here.

After all, it was here that she had buried her beloved. So it was right here that she came back three days later and found the tomb open and the body gone!

She must have felt so lost.

Then the bible says,

Two angels appeared sitting in the tomb, either side of where Jesus' body had been.

I always wonder what I would do if I saw angels sitting somewhere, clear as day. I feel them and I long to see them but I do wonder if I did see them – would I freak out?!

Apparently Mary Magdalene was quite used to talking with angels because she didn’t freak out at all. She went inside the tomb and asked them where her Lord was. They told her he wasn’t here, he had risen. But at that moment it seems she did not yet get the meaning of “risen“.

At that time the tomb was located in a private garden, the current church was built much later. She peered out of the tomb – and saw someone wandering around the lush gardens.

She took him to be the gardener.

The gardener?!

I love this bit, it shows how human these bible stories are. If you saw someone wandering around in a private, inaccessible garden you would probably think to yourself, huh, must be the gardener.

But of course it was the risen Christ.

But she doesn’t recognize her beloved.

Now she’s crying so in his compassion he immediately approaches her. But he doesn’t recognize her either. Instead he says, Why are you crying, woman? Who are you looking for? And she went, Sir if you have taken away my Lord, please tell me where you have taken him.

And then the most tender passage in the bible:

He suddenly recognizes her and calls her name in Aramaic, his language: "Mariam!" And at that moment she recognizes him too and calls out in the same language, "Rabbouni" - teacher!

What a moment that must have been! Full of startled surprise and overwhelming joy.

He was dead, she had buried him – and yet, here he stood.

She must have rushed to him, wanting to touch him to see that her eyes weren’t deceiving her. Bursting with bliss and love and wonder.

But he says, Don’t touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.

Clearly, the alchemy, the process of rising back to life was still in progress.

I’m sure she must have had so many questions – what happened, how did he do it, how did he feel?

And since she was his confidante and the one who understood his secret teachings, I imagine he most likely shared what he had gone through, perhaps his own wonder, or his pain, or both.

All had seemed lost, now all had been gained.

And she didn’t doubt it, she didn’t doubt the miracle.

How I Met the jesus in person

A few days later I’m at the Pool of Bethesda, just down the road from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. My experience and my musing on Mary Magdalene and Jesus are still very much on my mind.

The Pool of Bethesda used to be a very large Roman bath – so impressive that its architecture is mentioned in the bible.

2000 years later this “pool” is nothing but an overgrown ruin. But still. Jesus had been here. Healing and performing miracles.

Walking around, I pray, “Rabbouni, let me see you. I want to see you.

And the reply comes. But you have just seen me with your heart!

I know exactly what he means. I have seen, felt him, his extraordinary energy of overwhelming pure love the very moment I touched his tombstone in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

But still. I want to see him – in person.

I tell him. “No I mean, let me see you with my eyes.

I feel him smile. I would probably freak out if I saw angels with my own eyes… How would I cope being face to face with the son of God?

He knows I could not withstand the energy of his true being.

But maybe he’s moved by my sincerity.

So what happens is that almost immediately, I kid you not, a middle aged, very worldly looking man with a huge nose and a big belly comes to greet me. He’s not at all good looking nor does he seem particularly kind or loving…

Hello, what a beautiful day. I’m the gardener.

The gardener?!

We’re in an overgrown ruin, there’s no gardening here!!

And in case I have any doubts about who this is, he adds, “I’m from Bethlehem.

Haha, yes I get it! You Jesus, born in Bethlehem, who Mary Magdalene mistook for the gardener…

Very funny! But you look so… so… un-Jesus-like.

I don’t recognize you!

He just looks at me, jolly and unfazed by me not uttering a word. He has another message: “There’s lots of fruit by that tree over there, do you need any?” I just stare at him. Speechless, no words. So he smiles and says, “I’m going for a walk now. Bye.

And with that, he disappears. I just gape after him. What?! This is… so funny! My prayer got answered instantly but I couldn’t see Jesus in that man at all!

But then neither could Mary Magdalene at first, so it seems I’m in good company.

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