Sunday Morning. Still dark. No body. Quiet weeping just outside the tomb
Mary Magdalene could not help but remember the day that Jesus had rescued her. (Luke 8:2) From that moment on, she had been His devoted follower. She had seen Him work miracles and heard Him teach like no man ever had. She owed him everything. She had watched Him die, and now cruelly it seemed that someone had taken His body from the tomb so that she could not even grieve His loss or anoint His body.
Who would do such a thing? As Mary stooped to look in the tomb, she had no idea that everything was about to change. Angels seated at each end of the tomb had something say. It is interesting that their first words to Mary are, “Why are you weeping?” Perhaps they were amazed that she could weep at such a moment. Slow to understand, Mary retreats only to run into one that she perceived to be the gardener. “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him….” (The gardener) said to her, “Mary!” When she heard her name spoken by her Lord, she realized what she dared not even consider. He was alive.
The garden tomb – empty
I wonder why Mary was weeping. Maybe she was thinking of all that Jesus had done for her. Maybe she was angry that someone had stolen the body and that Jesus would never even receive a proper burial.
I think it far more likely that she thought her life was falling apart. Perhaps she was afraid that without Jesus she would return to the life of bondage from which He had freed her. Whatever the case, the angels felt that it was time for her to stop weeping. Why? Because He was alive! All her fears about bondage to sin and returning to an old way of life were wrecked in the light of a living Jesus! Her mourning over what life would be like without Him was useless now that she would never be without Him again! The lamenting and tears over her circumstances seemed so ridiculous in light of what had just happened!
Lots of people are weeping right now. Some have lost loved ones during this crisis. All of us are missing our family and friends.
We mourn the loss of our routine, while others weep at the challenges they have each day at a firehouse or a hospital or any number of other jobs. Others weep in their own personal anxiety or fear or overwhelming circumstance. Maybe you feel like your life is falling apart. Just like Mary, we are slow to believe.
May I suggest that Easter Sunday is a great day to dry your tears. Why are we weeping next to an empty tomb? He has handled our sin. He has conquered death. There is nothing to fear because Jesus is alive! We do not worship an absent God, but a living Lord that knows every detail of our lives, has seen every tear we’ve ever cried, and lives to give us purpose and hope in every circumstance. “Why are you weeping?”
I’m pretty sure if you will get quiet enough today, you will hear the Risen Jesus call your name too.
Take courage church, Jesus is alive and He knows your name.