Can I ask you a challenging question? Why does it matter that Jesus rose from the dead? Why is it significant for the way that you live your life that Jesus is not dead, but is alive?
The answer is incredibly far-reaching and profound. John gives us a beautiful insight into what the resurrection mean for life. Give it a read in John 20:11-18.He shows us Mary. She’s standing in front of the tomb. She can see that the stone is rolled away, and that the tomb is empty. She can even see that there are angels seated there. All the signs were pointing to the fact that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead just like he said he would.
And yet she wept. She had seen her Savior die with her own eyes, and she wept because her God was dead. She wept because she could only see grief for her life. I want to be crystal clear about this. I am not condemning grief. What I am wanting to do is mourn grieving. I want to mourn the ways that grief has a way of lingering with us. Maybe you can empathize. I think many of us can. Can you see why it matters that Jesus rose?
Keep reading. Jesus turned Mary’s grief all the way around. And he did it with just one word. He said: “Mary.” He spoke her name. And she saw him. She saw that he had risen. She saw that grief was not going to be the last word on her life. She saw that life had prevailed over death. She felt the joy bubble up in her heart.
Let’s take part in that joy this Sunday. It’s a joy that is for you. It’s a joy that affects your every day. Won for you by Jesus on the cross. Confirmed for you when Jesus rose from the grave.
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, 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!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first,also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw 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.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
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.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.