Summary: Tears of Joy at Easter. The tomb is empty.
Why are you Weeping?
April 20, 2014
Whether we want to admit to it or not . . . we all have dreams. We set out at a young age, with dreams. Oftentimes they’re little boy and girl fantasies. And sometimes they become realities. We dream about fun and exciting stuff, glamorous careers and plans for the future. As we get older, our dreams and hopes aren’t quite so lofty. We’ve experienced the highs and lows of life, we’ve adjusted our dreams, and sometimes, we give up on our dreams.
Life has a way of killing dreams, doesn't it? We set out with high hopes — school, career, family, the kids, the grandkids, the golden years. You have plans, aspirations, expectations. But things don't always turn out the way you expected. Plans fall through. People let you down. You let yourself down. Suddenly the life you’re living isn’t the life you dreamed of.
We may find ourselves in places we never expected to be. We know how it feels to be disappointed, discouraged, and it feels as though all hope is gone. If it’s not true for you right now, it’s probably true for someone you know, and maybe for someone you love.
“Well, Happy Easter . . . Pastor Michael!” I know that seems like a strange way to start an Easter message. Easter’s supposed to be about bunnies and chicks. New day clothes, a new lease on life! And it is! But that’s not where it began. It began at a grave, with a weeping woman.
In the 4th gospel, the apostle John tells us some of the story about the first Easter morning. If you have your Bible, please turn to the 4th book of the New Testament, the gospel of John. Let’s look at what John tells us in chapter 20 ~
1 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.
2 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.”
3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.
4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,
7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.
8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;
9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.
12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
15 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.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” — and that He had said these things to her.
As we read this passage, understand that Mary made 2 trips to the tomb that morning. When she and the other women found it empty, they hurried back and shared the news with the disciples; two of whom ran out to see for themselves. Mary followed them back out again, notice that she stayed there, but the 2 disciples went home. This left Mary alone at the open ... empty ... tomb. She did the only thing left to do. She cried.