Pause

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb… and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb.”

John 20:1, 2b

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Listen

Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.

John 20:11-18

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Think

“Why are you crying?”

That’s a question that Mary gets asked not once, but twice, in our passage today. The answer is obvious to her — someone has taken away Jesus’ body! That’s certainly worth a good cry.

But Mary doesn’t know something that the angels and Jesus know as they ask her the question. They all know that Jesus has come back to life! All three know that hope has come back from the dead. They know that death has been conquered. They know that Jesus’ promises have all come true.

They know that it’s ridiculous that Mary is crying. But Mary doesn’t know any of this, so she’s crying. How quickly she stops once she realizes that Jesus isn’t the gardener after all!

Do you think some of the sadness around us would go away if people knew what we know: that Jesus’ tomb is empty? Could there be hope where there was despair? Could there be joy where there was sadness? Could there be life where there was death?

Chip Hardwick

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Pray

You are risen from the dead, Lord Jesus Christ! You have defeated death and given me hope! Strengthen me to tell others about your victory to help their sadness disappear. Hallelujah! Amen.

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Go

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

Chip Hardwick

Chip Hardwick moved to Chicagoland in early 2018 in order to serve as an interim pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, IL. He is hoping to get his cat, Ahoy, interested in Holy Week activities this year.

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Ken Medema

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