Scripture Reading: John 20:11-18
“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’” (John 20:111-13a)
Mary Magdalene loved Jesus greatly and Jesus loved her in spite of all the failures in her life. She found love and acceptance from Jesus like she had never known from anyone else in all of her life. She had been rejected by many and had faced many disappointments in her life. But when she met Jesus, her life changed.
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early on the Sunday morning after Jesus’ death and burial. She along with the other women wanted to ensure that Jesus’ body was properly prepared for burial. When she arrived at the tomb, she saw that the stone had been rolled away. Immediately she ran to find Peter and John. When the two disciples heard the news from Mary, they ran to the tomb (John 20:1-10). When they saw the empty tomb and the grave cloths neatly folded in it, they went back to their homes.
Mary came back to the tomb and began weeping. She peered into the tomb and saw two angels sitting where the body of Jesus had lain. They said to her: “Woman, why are you weeping?” She told them that she was distressed because someone had taken the body of Jesus and she did not know where it was. As soon as she finished saying these words, she heard the same question being asked her from someone else: “Woman, why are you weeping?” She thought this must be the voice of the gardener. Then she heard her name called, “Mary.” She recognized that familiar voice and as she turned around she saw Jesus. She said, “Rabboni,” and fell at His feet, clinging to Him. After this encounter with the Lord, she went and announced to the disciples that she had seen the Lord (v. 18).
As I read this passage again, a verse from the the Psalms came to my mind: “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). Mary’s deep sorrow turned into great joy when she saw Jesus. This is the way of the gospel. In our sorrow, we can find joy when we enter into the presence of the Lord. No matter how great our sorrow may be, we can find joy in our Savior who loves us and accepts us. His presence is our comfort and strength.
Lord Jesus, You bring joy to me in the midst of my sorrows. “In Your presence there is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). Your presence brings me great comfort and strength. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b).
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