[called by name]

[called by name]

I mentioned before that one of my favorite movies is Jesus that was filmed in ’99. I honestly am not sure how many times I’ve seen it and I don’t think it’s possible to get tired of it (granted, usually I watch it by myself because no one else wants to join me for a three-hour movie – but I don’t care. I would watch it anytime and anywhere with anyone.)

One of my favorite parts is in the end.

Jesus died and everyone feels as if their hopes were dashed against the hard ground and smashed to pieces. Two days of mental agony for the disciples – I have no idea what they felt – the depth of their despair is tremendous. Not only they have lost their dear friend and teacher (and I don’t even talk about Jesus’ mother Mary’s feelings), but they have lost their Messiah – the one they waited for all their lives and the one their parents and grandparents waited.

It seems like this is the end of the story.

Then comes Sunday. (In Russian, it’s quite symbolic – the name for Sunday is Voskresen’ye (with n like Spanish ñ) – which literally stands for Resurrection. Every single week we have a reminder of that event.)

So Sunday comes.

For the disciples, it was just a day. Another day without Jesus. I don’t even know if they counted days at all or life turned to a blurry mess. However, Sabbath passed and there was work to do.

But here come the news… Jesus’ body is nowhere to be found. It’s not in the tomb.

We have a saying “Heart fell lower than the skirting board” – which means that it was lower than low.

Jesus died and now the disciples don’t even know where his body is.

Following John and Peter, Mary Magdalene rushes to the tomb to see it for herself… The mind tells her that the tomb is empty and Jesus is gone, but the heart refuses to believe it. It is not possible…

“Dear woman, why are you crying?” A voice comes from the garden.

Mary looks but doesn’t see because of the tears. “If you have taken his body… please, oh please, let me tend to it.”

And then it comes… my favorite moment. 


And Mary sees her Lord alive and well.

I grin every single time when I watch this part… and I also imagine myself in Mary’s shoes and wonder what it would be like to hear him say my name… “Zena.”

And nothing else matters.

Bitter tears of sorrow transform into the sweet tears of joy.

As I was watching it today, I thought…

He did call me by name.

He called you by name.

Hear Him speaking your name, gently with love emanating from that voice. The voice that said “Let there be light!” The voice that stilled storms. The voice that prayed, “Thy will be done.” The voice that says, “I love you.”

When you hear that voice, when you let it speak to your spirit… nothing else matters.

This is the last part of the Jesus movie I talked about. If you don’t feel like watching the entire 11 minutes, my favorite moment starts at 4:47. You can simply skip to that time.

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