Having once again celebrated the resurrection of Christ at Easter, it can be easy to become dismissive about the story. It’s well-worn and well known. But this Easter I was asked an interesting question by one of the local clergy: where did the resurrected Jesus get His clothes? In John 20:15, we’re told that Mary Magdalene, upon encountering Christ on that first Easter morning, supposed Him to be the gardener. Apparently He emerged from the tomb wearing some ordinary work clothes.
Assuming that Jesus didn’t burst forth from the grave and burgle the clothing, where did they come from? The simple answer is that we don’t know, and all we can do is speculate. But this detail gives us an opportunity for some fresh reflection this Easter season.
A gardener. First thoughts take us back to the Garden of Eden, where God originally dwelled with mankind. The resurrected savior comes to take us to a new and improved Paradise.
A gardener. When we might expect the resurrected savior of the universe to be enrobed in sublime glory, instead we find a man, gentle, approachable. The humble King born in a manger is ever and always a man of the people. It’s not charisma or popularity—it is love, faith, and relationship that draws us to Him.
A gardener. But it’s the reality of that relationship that reveals to Mary that He is something more. When He speaks her name, it’s then that she sees Him for who He is. Not an anonymous figure, a nameless extra in the drama of her life, but rather her teacher, her lord, her savior.
A gardener. The most significant person Mary could have run into at the most significant time. Where did He get the clothes? Perhaps that’s not the main issue. After all, it’s not the clothes that made the man. But it’s the Man that opens the eyes of those who would seek Him at Easter.