Summary: An Easter Sunday Sermon
"I have Seen the Lord"
"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes. 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?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" 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." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her." John 20:1-18, RSV.
Grace and peace to your from our risen Lord. Amen
As Easter approached, a Sunday School teacher had a project to teach the meaning of Easter to her young children. She collected a number of egg-shaped boxes us and gave one to each child. She asked them to find one thing that reminded them of Easter and to place it in the egg-box. On Easter Sunday the children brought their boxes to the teacher, who opened them one by one. The first box had a rock in it to represent the door of the tomb. Another had a tiny flower in it to speak of the life of the resurrection. a third had a butterfly, another symbol of the resurrection. The fourth had the best idea--- this egg had nothing in it -- the tomb was empty.
The empty tomb is the most impressive symbol of the message of the resurrection. the grace that was empty, the bomb that gave up its victim, the emptiness of the burial place are the vivid fact of the resurrection.
The first Easter morning three different people came to the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene, John, the disciple Jesus loved, and peter. All three came with a different approach, with a different attitude.
We begin with Mary. May came to the tomb to anoint the body as was the custom in those days. She saw from a distance that the stone was moved away. She stops. She stares. And then she runs back to the others to tell them what she has seen.
She runs back to the disciples and tells them "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him."
She assumes that the body has been taken.
At this point Mary does not think about the words of Jesus and the idea of the resurrection. All she can think about is the body is gone.
Sometimes when we encounter the harshness of life, all we can think about is the act that is affecting us. All we can think about is the hurt, the pain, the brokenness that has happened to us.
Mary was like that. She did not think she reacted.
But Mary did not give up either. She goes back to the tomb. She still does not go in, but she returns to the tomb. John and Peter go in, look around and they go back to the others.