So Why Are You Weeping?
John 20:11-18 (NIV)
Easter. I’m forever in love with Easter. Not for the baskets, bonnets, bunnies, and chocolate but for the true meaning of Easter. My Easter Lilies in my backyard remind me of just how much I love Easter. Their blooms are magnificent. Lilies are also known as White-Robed Apostles of Hope. Don’t you just love that? Another interesting bit of info I learned recently is that lilies were found in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ died on the cross. I guess that’s why so many churches surround the altar with them. It’s a way of signifying the resurrection of Jesus and also the hope of eternal life. We see the lily presented in art form, as a symbol of purity, hope, joy, and life. Plus the lily is also associated with womanhood. I love that too. So my lilies are very special to me. I literally rejoice when I see them blooming in my backyard.
With that, this is the story of the resurrection of Jesus—Easter, the foundation of the Christian faith. It comes down to this—do I believe or not? I do believe. And if I believe, do I believe when times are hard? The message of the tomb is that God is with us—always.
Before the crucifixion, Jesus wept for Jerusalem. They lost an opportunity to be saved. They didn’t know they’d been visited by the Savior. Instead of accepting and receiving Him, they crucified Him. Jesus wasn’t willing to see all of Jerusalem perish. So He wept for them.
Easter is about tears—the Good Friday tears. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in a garden. There He found Mary weeping and asked, “Why are you weeping? Who is it you are looking for?” This was the second time Mary was asked this question. First by the angels sitting inside the tomb, and then by Jesus. John tells us she saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had lain, one at the head and the other at the foot. When the angels asked why she was weeping, she said it was because she feared someone had taken Jesus’ body and she didn’t know where they had taken Him. She couldn’t imagine not being able to see Jesus. She feared the worst.
Suddenly when she turned, she saw Jesus but didn’t recognize Him. She thought Him the gardener and questioned Him as to the whereabouts of Jesus. But then Jesus called her name, and she cried out, “Teacher.”
Before Mary encountered Jesus, she wept for Him because she hurt for the loss of Him. She shed Good Friday tears—tears of hopelessness. But Jesus asks us as He asked Mary, why? Jesus wants us to know that God defeated death.
John tells us of a new earth, a new beginning, and a new heaven. He tells us that death shall be no more. This is the reason and the meaning of the resurrection. Easter is about wiping away our tears.
Faith is an Easter faith. Jesus arose from the grave. The evidence is found in the witnesses of that resurrection. With the resurrection of Jesus comes the hope that God will ease our despair. Easter hope is the fact that God raised His Son and will raise us up as well and give us hope for the future. God is in the hope business. It’s proven in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Eternal love is love that will not let go. God’s love is with us for eternity. Our job is to dry the tears—those Good Friday tears. Faith, hope, love—and the greatest of these is love.
Ultimately, we can get busy living or get busy dying. Why are you weeping? Jesus told Mary to go and tell His disciples, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Can you imagine being Mary Magdalene? Witnessing the crucifixion. Then being the first person to see the resurrected Christ. What an amazing experience that must have been. What emotion. What turbulence. What peace. And to think, Jesus chose a woman to spread the good news of His resurrection. Imagine that.
So it’s okay to love the other stuff. I know Haylie’s in love with the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg Hunts!
As long as the other stuff never overshadows the true meaning. Christ died for our sins. His resurrection is a time for joy. And the weeping? Well, that’s just part of it.
How about your Easter thoughts, lilies, and memories?
And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!