Summary: Mary Magdalene was crying at the tomb. We have many problems and we cry too. Do we cry for the same reasons she did?
Why Are You Crying?
It was very difficult for God to watch people cry because He cared for them.
Sick He healed
Mary/Martha Raised Lazarus
5000 hungry fed them
Now, one of the people He loved very much... Mary Magdalene, is weeping at the tomb of Jesus.
It had been a very sad Sabbath... mourning Jesus
She had come with other women to perform a loathsome labor of love
Her arms were heavy with the spices for the job and her heart was heavy for herself
When she arrived, they found the tomb open, the soldiers incapacitated, and the body of Jesus GONE!!!
They ran and got the disciples but now, they too, had left with their dreams crushed.
Mary waits alone, behind, crushed, hurting and hopeless.
All at once she is startled by a voice, “Woman, why are you crying.”
Mary responded, “They have taken away the body of my Lord, and I don’t know where they have put him.
1. Mary was crying for perfectly natural reasons.
Who does not cry as they stand by the grave or casket of a loved one.
Who has not come back to the grave a few days after the death of a loved one and cried?
And if you saw one standing by a grave crying would you ask, “Why are you crying?”
NO. You would assume they knew the dead person.
And if the dirt was fresh you would assume the hurt was still fresh and you would not be surprised that they cry.
Some of you here today are just like Mary Magdalene, you are hurting for some very natural reasons...
Death of a loved one
Sickness of loved one
Loss of something important... job... dream
Waywardness of loved one
It is as natural for you as it was for Mary.
But I want you to notice a few things about Mary and draw comfort for yourself.
#1 Jesus KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD EXACTLY WHAT MARY WAS GOING THROUGH.
#2 Jesus already had her answer in mind
#3 Jesus was right by her... she was not alone.
2. Mary was crying because SHE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE FULL GRANDURE OF THE GOSPEL.
Mary had heard the gospel... the good news...
I must die... dead three days... back to life
The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Luke 24:7
If she heard that... If he told her... why did it not change the death of Jesus?
The believers should have been having a “HOMECOMING” party on Friday night.
They should have spent the Sabbath making plans for His return... banners, signs.
They should have been lined up 3 or 4 deep around the tomb on Sunday morning shouting, “Bus driver, MOVE THAT STONE!”
If Jesus had told them... and they believed in Him... why was Mary crying at the tomb when the body was not there?
For the same reason the other Mary... and Martha, heard Jesus say their brother, Lazarus, was not dead but asleep and that he, Jesus, was going to raise Lazarus.
Mary thought it was “church talk” ... spiritual jargon that was good for pie in the sky, bye and bye... but did not have much relevance NOW... IN REAL LIFE.
John 11:22 Jesus tells Mary Lazarus will come back to life and Mary says, “Yeah, yeah, Jesus, I know... one day at the end of time he, and the other dead will come back to life.”
Jesus stops her and says, “I’m not talking about some pie in the sky doctrinal discussion... I MEAN RIGHT NOW... I am powerful over this world and I can help you in the here and now.
AND HE DID!
Mary Magdalene also thought the gospel was some spiritual truth with deep meanings and future implications... that God is just for the afterlife.
We sometimes do the same thing Mary did... COMPARTMENTALIZE!
We put God in the religious compartment of our life... and other parts of our life in other compartments.
Work... friends... family... business... religion
But it causes us to only look to God for the religious things... and keep him out of our business, etc.
Another problem Mary had was FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEM.
The disciples were gone, where were her eyes focused?
EMPTY TOMB = problem
Where was the answer? Right behind her... JESUS
Sometimes we are like Mary... hurting, for very natural reasons.
And we fail to see the Gospel... the good news of Jesus... be our comfort.
We see “religion” as irrelevant and impotent in our present trouble.
Or we focus on the problem and fail to turn and see Jesus as our answer.
One last point...
3. Mary was crying because SHE HAD NOT YET HAD AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE RISEN, LIVING CHRIST.