Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. - John 20:11
The angels in white, “sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying,” asked Mary, “Why are you crying?” Mary answered, “Because they have taken away my Lord . . . and I don’t know where they have put him” (John 20:13). Tears, even necessary ones, can distort our vision. The distraught woman “glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.” Just see what tears can do! She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, “If you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him” (John 20:15).
How can you mistake the risen Son of God for a gardener? Quite easily—if tears do not turn into triumphant faith. Belief in the Resurrection is the best handkerchief I know! Mary was mourning her Christ, her Savior, the One who had cast out the demons that had tormented her. Beside herself with grief, she shed her necessary tears. But there came a moment when a question needed to be asked: “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Faith realizes that Christ is alive! Then who can cry? Are you in shock? In mourning? Can you not see the Christ presenting himself to you as the answer, even to death? Can you hear his voice calling your name? Mary’s tears prevented her from seeing her Savior. Let faith dry your eyes, look up, look around—then look ahead!
For Further Study: John 20:11-18
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.