By: Travis Stockelman
It was the saddest weekend that mankind ever experienced. For over three years, Jesus went around, doing good and proving that He was the Son of God. He did no wrong, yet always did what was right, to the benefit of those around Him. Jealous men had plotted to put Him to death, and they even found one of His own disciples who was willing to betray Him into their hands.
Three days earlier, the only perfectly innocent person in all of human history was given a sham of a trial, mocked, beaten, whipped, and ultimately crucified. As He hung on the cross, He chose to pray for those mocking Him, those who had carried out His murder. Finally, Jesus breathed His last.
The memory of Jesus’s crucifixion must have still been fresh in the mind of Mary Magdalene as she went to the tomb. After all, she witnessed all of it. Images of the agony that He went through must have crowded her mind that Sunday morning.
Step by step she continued on to the tomb where Jesus was laid, not realizing what awaited her. She expected the stone to be in front of the tomb, and the body of Jesus to be resting just where it was laid on Friday.
Arriving at the tomb, Mary saw what she never expected—the stone was rolled away! Not only that, but the body of the Lord was missing! Now, she was even more sorrowful. What have they done with the body of the man they had treated so horribly just a few days earlier? The sorrow that Mary Magdalene felt must have been multiplied by the realization that the Lord was no longer where He was before. We can almost picture her on her knees, with her head in her hands, sobbing at the tomb.
Finally, she hears a voice asking her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Looking up, she saw two angels. Yet even the sight of these two angelic beings did not bring her comfort. She could only explain her sorrow. It had not yet been turned to joy. Turning around, she saw someone. The gardener, perhaps? Maybe he was the one that moved the body! She would offer to take the body somewhere for a proper burial. Then she heard the unmistakable voice of the Master calling her name. The sorrow that was overtaking her just a few moments ago began to turn to joy as she fell at the feet of Jesus. He was alive!
So it is with all of us. When it seems like everything is going wrong or that there is no hope, the resurrection can bring joy and healing to our lives. Our God is not dead, but alive. The grave has not conquered Him. He has conquered the grave. If the grave could not conquer Him, what can? Absolutely nothing! As we come one day closer to Easter, let the resurrection turn your sorrow into joy and your hopelessness into hope. He is alive!