Summary: Easter Sunday! proof that God is still working in the midst of our Sorrow and pain!
Joy Comes in the Morning! or You Can’t Keep a God Man Down!
The bad guys had won! They used lies, disseat and they even allied themselves with the enemy! The oppressors, the hated Roman empire to murder Jesus in the most cruel, painful and public way possible. The man they called Friend, leader, Messiah was dead. And now in the midst of all this pain and sorrow, they were scared and as far as they know, they were being hunted. The new world of their dreams was shattered.
Jesus was dead. That was a fact! And His body was thrown into a borrowed tomb with no dignity at all. And that tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers just waiting to arrest anyone who approaches.
So, it is no wonder that only Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb. The men were fugitives. And the same logic that caused Peter to warn Jesus Not to go to Jerusalem in the first place, was telling them the same about going to the cemetery. It was only when Mary ran back to the disciples and told them that Jesus’ body was gone did they have the courage to run to the grave.
Their faith was dead as the body in the tomb. Yes, they had seen Jesus do Miracles but Jesus was dead! They saw it they experienced it and there was nothing they could do to keep it from happening. Everything they had hoped for was as dead as that body lying in that tomb. Hope and faith were dead. And all they had left was the ashes of the dreams they had for the future.
We can relate to this. Those times when those we love are taken in death. How it breaks our hearts. Our lives are never the same. But the loss of a job, home or our health can cause those same feelings of loss, fear and hopelessness.
Our faith is tested and it seems that God has abandoned us. And all we have left seems like an empty shell filled only with pain and sorrow. We function only in automatic mode. The world goes on and we are in such pain we don’t notice.
This was the state of mind of both Marys’ as they approached the tomb. And instead of remembering what Jesus said, they make the very human conclusion, Jesus Body had been stolen.
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Things had gone from bad to far worse. Mary Magdalene was so stricken with horror and grief she did not see what was going on around her.
When our world comes crashing down around us, God can seem to be very far away. And when someone mentions that God has a plan, we might politely smile, but in our hearts, we want to scream, “If this is God’s plan I want nothing to do it!”
In times as dark as these, many people loose faith all together. And even the most faithful have their faith shaken. But in the end no matter what the current situation is, remaining faithful is always the right thing to do. As Mary Magdalene soon found out.
Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
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.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
It’s hard to imagine all the feeling Mary is experiencing at that moment. The others have left and she alone is with Jesus. And she can’t believe her eyes. She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” She leaps up to hug Him!
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary is then told to spread the Good News that Jesus is alive!
So what do we take home this Easter Sunday! 3 words, Jesus is Alive! In the midst of all the pain this world can throw at us, Jesus is Alive! No matter how difficult and painful life can get Jesus is Alive! The evil of the world could not defeat him! The Grave could not hold Him! Jesus is alive! And as long as we believe in Him, the world will not defeat us either! Jesus is Alive! Amen!