Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’
Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him,
‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him,
and I will take Him away.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’
– John 20:15-16
It had been a long three days since the one they called “Messiah” died a horrific death by crucifixion.
Mary Magdalene waited through the customary Sabbath rest to go to the tomb to anoint the body with spices with the other women. Before dawn broke, though, Mary just had to go to Jesus’ tomb, drawn by her longing to see her Master again, even if it was in death.
She never dreamed she would find Him alive.
We don’t know why she didn’t recognize Jesus at first. It could have been the dim light, the fact He still bore the scars from His awful death, or because His appearance was that much changed after the resurrection.
She certainly didn’t expect to find Him on the other side of the tomb.
Christ’s victory over death changed everything.
Imagine the moment when the reality of Jesus’ resurrection hit her. It meant life was everlasting. Nothing could ever truly make her afraid again. Even death was just a momentary loss. The weeping and fear she had lived with for the last three days would have been totally unnecessary had she understood the power of God. If she had comprehended God’s timetable and His plans, she would have rejoiced and waited with a sense of wonder at what was about to happen, instead of spending those days in tears.
As the disciples learned of Jesus’ resurrection and received the Holy Spirit, they understood. This new knowledge empowered them to spread the good news with joy. To a man, they faced torture and death for their faith. But it didn’t matter to them, because they had seen their future in the face of their God.
Radiant. Immortal. So very alive.
Jesus is well-acquainted with grief, the Bible tells us.
He understands our sorrows and identifies with our pain. Now He sits beside His Father as He intercedes for us and sends the accusers packing. His Spirit strengthens us as He teaches us all we need to safely complete our journey through the minefield we call Earth. His angels minister to us. His Word instructs us and reveals His plans. He has given us every reason to rejoice. He has given us this day to live and breathe and serve Him. Our future is safe, no matter what happens.
Today He calls our name and He asks, “Why are you weeping?”