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Easter Sunday


Death and mourning. Sadness and despair.

It seemed the story was over. Christ had died and his body lay in a tomb. It was the end of an era as far as anyone could tell.

There was weeping, mourning, uncertainty, and confusion.

What next?

Mary Magdalene stood at the empty grave…certainly, there must be some explanation. Her heart gave way to tears, and she wept.

One of the most captivating statements I find in this resurrection account is the question the angels ask Mary as she is looking into the tomb…searching for answers.

“Woman, why are you crying?”

John 20:13

Good Friday calls us to pause, reflect, and contemplate the cost that Christ bore for our sins. Because we know there is a resurrection, we can so easily lose sight of the significance that mourning plays in the story.

This question, posed to Mary- “Woman, why are you crying?”- might have seemed silly or inappropriate in light of the crucifixion.

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

John 20:13

Distraught that something might have happened to the body of Jesus, Mary’s heart was wrestling with fear and grief. When she turned around, she stood face-to-face with Jesus…but she did not recognize him.

He, too, asked her why she was crying.

“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

John 20:15

She was looking for Jesus, who was standing right in front of her.

Carrying the sadness of Friday into Sunday, she could not see her Messiah. Resurrection had come, but she had yet to grasp it.

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

John 20:15,16

In an instant, Mary’s eyes were opened…and she could see her Lord. Overwhelmed with emotion, she reached out for him…clinging to her living Savior.

The question, “Why are you crying?” makes sense now. Why would she, or anyone, cry in the presence of the greatest miracle in history? Death defeated. Resurrection. Redemption. Complete victory.

May the only tears we shed on Easter Sunday be tears of joy!

After this encounter with Jesus, Mary ran to the disciples to share this amazing news.

“I have seen the Lord.”

John 20:18

Can you imagine their reaction? “I have seen the Lord.” No more tears. No more sorrow. Jesus is alive.

While there continues to be much to grieve in this world…death, brokenness, heartache, and sorrow…Easter reminds us that victory has come…death has been defeated…and, through both Christ’s death and resurrection, there is a greater hope.

The empty tomb was not something to weep over.

The empty tomb was the reason to rejoice.

No more crying.

“I have seen the Lord.”

Christ has risen.

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