Of all the dark days in a year, surely this is the darkest.
It’s the day when we sit still, remembering what it might have felt like to wonder if Christ was going to return to His people. His agony was silenced, His lifeless body leading many to question what was next.
From where we stand, we know the resurrection is nearing, and like children we sit perched and awaiting redemption. But then, on that day, what would we have said?
I’ll be the first to admit what might have crossed my mind. “I knew it was too good to be true. How could He have really been the Promised One?” And likely, I would have scattered with the disciples, putting myself at a distance from the chaos – hedging my bets and thinking of my reputation and my safety.
That’s a shameful thought, but it’s honest.
I don’t know what the darkness would have been to me – a challenge to face as I awaited glory, or just the resounding drum of questioning?
He hangs there no more, and all the world will bow to Him one day. That much I know. And yet, I often live my life like a spectator to His death instead of a witness to His resurrection. Watching, wondering, questioning what comes next – calling out to Him as if I don’t believe He hears me at all.
In some sense, on this Saturday, we have to choose what will guide the steps of our lives. Either He is exactly Who He says He is, and all of this is simply the dawn of a bright day, or Jesus Christ was a charlatan Who mocked us all in His earthly claims.
Which is it for you?
Mary of Magdalene was first to see the risen Christ, and I can’t help but think that it was because she remained devoted to Him, even in her moments of questioning. She was close to the cross, yes; but she didn’t stay there. She longed to be near to His body, no matter how hopeless it might have seemed in the moment.
And when she looked deep into the tomb and saw that His body was gone, she cried out to the angels who sat where He had once been. She was so shaken by the absence of her beloved Savior that she wept, and I wonder – have you?
In response, the angels asked her a question. “Woman, why are you weeping?”
“They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him,” she answered.
She turned, seeing a man she presumed to be a gardener, and he asks the same question: “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She hastily assumes that maybe he has been the one to move the Lord’s body, and she asks if that’s the case.
Her eyes are looking upon the risen Christ, but her sadness over the perceived situation blinds her to the greater reality.
So I ask again: Is the same true for you?
He calls her name, and she recognizes Him. The voice of the Teacher; the voice of the One Who healed her. The voice of the Master, Who still calls out our names and longs for us to know it’s Him. The great King Who trampled death and rose again to offer us reconciliation and hope. The Messiah, Who will bring us to His side for all of eternity.
Today, as you wait for glory, I pray you will hear one question, and that you will challenge yourself to answer it from the depths of whatever darkness you are facing: Woman, why are you weeping?
He is here, love.
In the garden of your doubt, your sadness, and your fear – the risen Christ is whispering your name, beckoning you to hope.
Will you believe it?