We approach Easter every year, on Good Friday we remember Jesus dying on the cross for us.
Easter Sunday, we look back to celebrate the rising of Jesus from the grave and His victory over death and what that means for us.
Then we have Monday off and continue Tuesday as normal.
What if though we continued to dwell on the resurrection of Jesus?
Mary Magdalene in her grief heading to the tomb on the third day to prepare the body of her teacher and friend. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus the Pharisee had quickly prepared Jesus body after death by most likely paying a substantial amount to the Roman authorities. Mary was expecting to take a careful amount of time to properly prepare the body wrap it gently and give Jesus the proper burial.
Her plans however were interrupted. The stone was not there and the guards she expected to encounter and plead with had fled. The tomb Jesus was laid in was empty. Far from being rapturous with excitement and like everyone else who had witnessed Jesus’ death, she was not expecting to see Jesus alive again. No one was. Nobody came back from the dead then either.
Shock and terror filled her, what had been done with the body of Jesus? Who took it? Grief now filled her heart as the last loving goodbye to her Savior’s body had been stolen from her.
Mary makes space for her tears. She takes the time to acknowledge the grief and loss. She allows space for her emotions.
In doing so, rather than hastily trying to compose herself, she encounters Jesus in her darkest moment of grief.
‘Woman, why are you weeping’?
Jesus’ encounters with people after the resurrection seem to start with a question.
Mary is not expecting it to be Jesus, it’s not until he says her name that she realizes that it’s Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to just get busy or distract myself than feel difficult emotions. I do not always allow myself space to grieve when I hear saddening news. Mary though gives us a great example. Her pausing to allow the loss to be felt, the disappointment to come out shows us that in that, Jesus can meet with us in that place.
In the darkest most painful moments Jesus comes to us to heal and restore and give us the thing we need most desperately: Hope.
Jesus comes to Mary who is expecting to tend to the dead body of Jesus, instead finds a resurrected living in the flesh Jesus, He gives her the task to tell the disciples that He has risen.
Is there times in which you could allow the emotions of what’s been going on to wash over you? Rather than staying stoic until it all gets too much. Sitting silently with the Lord talking with Him about what has brought sadness to your heart, frustration, or disappointment is an opportunity to meet with Jesus if you are willing to make space for the emotions God has blessed you with.
Let's live with Easter in our hearts this year as we move forward.