NEVER WEPT ON AN EMPTY TOMB
John 20: 11-18:
Is it not that most of us wept in the past because of losing someone so dear to us?
Is it that some of us after separation have experience loneliness; brokenness and felt so vulnerable that we wept until we find it normal after a while.
Are we weeping because of a tragic incident in the past that till now, we can get over?
The topic is so provocative; do not weep on an empty tomb.
THE MISSING BODY
Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark and saw that the stone was already been rolled.
So she ran out to Simon Peter and the other disciples and said to them that the stone had been rolled and taken away the Lord out of the tomb.
So Peter and the other disciples went forth and they were going to the tomb but what they found was a tomb with empty wrapping linen lying.
The disciples returned back to their homes except for Mary who remain standing outside the tomb weeping.
WEEPING AND CRYING
Verse 11 says that Mary was still outside the tomb weeping, and as she wept, she stooped and looked at the tomb.
Mary was so emotionally affected by what happened as only a few days back, she witnessed how her Lord was brutally punished and sentenced to death.
Mary of Magdala cried when the Lord died and when they buried Him. But the weight of her agony was increased when she realized that the Lord’s body was missing.
Like Mary, maybe we asked ourselves when all of this torment will end?
When will all this emotional distress likely stop?
Why is it that after all of the beatings, the lashes and the nailing of Him on the cross, have they not finished yet? Now they took Him away from the tomb.
Some of us can relate to Mary’s experience.
There are many times that we cry and weep over things we cannot understand.
We ask ourselves why and we just weep on the things we cannot control.
LOOKING AT AN EMPTY TOMB
Mary cannot get it over.
She wept and stooped looking where the tomb was.
In our life, we cry over spilt milk and we are sorry about it.
We regret a job that was lost or disappointed in a failed interview because we thought that was already our dream job. We talk about it and we cannot go over it.
You feel sorry for a husband or a wife whom you have been for decades but suddenly disappear because you found someone new. You wept and stooped looking at an empty wall, staring at your photographs, reminiscing your memory and asking what have been wrong.
You feel sad that you let your chances pass by without taking any action. You look at an unending horizon asking what you will do next.
But never wept and look at that empty tomb because the very thing that we are looking at is not our end.
An empty tomb is not a scene of emptiness but a fulfilment of God’s promises.
God promises us not an empty tomb but a life of fullness and rewarding promises.
When Moses and the Israelites were at the brink of their end, God said to Moses “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.”
We cannot wait to just stare and wait for the enemy to attack us.
We cannot just wait for the circumstances to consume and have control over us rather we have to move forward.
Lift up our eyes on God rather than look down on the tomb.
Raise up our eyes on Jesus that was risen rather than stooping on the tomb where he was laid.
We have to take up our staff like Moses and command the sea of depression, loneliness, and hopelessness to be divided so that we could be able to walk past through dry land of peace, hope and victory.
THE STONE HAS BEEN ROLLED
The stone has been rolled, now we know that we are not fooled.
Because the fullness of our faith is when Christ is resurrected from the dead.
When Christ rises again, we know that our faith is not in vain.
He is alive and in Him, we are alive as well.
It gives us hope that no one can constrain us from our situation.
The stone has been rolled for us to give us the assurance that there is life after death.
Giving us the courage to triumph over every adversary.
The stone has been rolled for us to be free. Free from our sin and freedom from anyone who makes us slaves.
No more chain can bound us, no more stone can hold us because indeed we are free.
DON’T WEEP ON AN EMPTY TOMB
Verse 15 says “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom you are seeking?”
We cry and wept at times that we cannot understand what is happening?
At the time, they did not yet realize and understand what the Scriptures say about Him that He must rise again from the dead.
Many times we also cry and feel depressed because we fail to understand the promises that God have for us.
Don’t be so focused on the empty tomb that we neglect to see the risen Lord.
Don’t be so entertained by the feeling of emptiness but rather focus on the fullness of God’s promises.
God’s words are what we can rely on. It is true and it will come to pass.
Isaiah 12:10-11 says “For just as the rains and snow come down from heaven, and do not return without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing the seed to the sower and the bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from my mouth, it will not return to me empty without accomplishing my desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
SEEK FOR JESUS WHO WAS RISEN
Verse 15 Jesus says ‘Whom you are seeking?”
Whom do you seek right now?
Are you looking for someone that will not come back anymore or something that could never be restored?
Are we looking for evidence or a sign?
If we are looking for evidence, the fact will force us to believe.
After all the evidence and facts are presented, there will be no more room to doubt but believe.
But Jesus who was not in the tomb is a sign for many for us to believe but we have the choice.
Seek for Jesus…seek for His promise because He is alive.
WHEN GOD CALLED YOUR NAME
Verse 16 says Jesus said to her “ Mary!” she turned and said to Him in Hebrew “Rabboni!” which means, Teacher)
When God called us, He will always call us by our name.
When God called us by our name, imagine what will happen.
When Jesus called the name of Lazarus, Lazarus came back to life. His blood might already be coagulated, his heart already stopped pumping, his body was totally frozen but calling his name, his heart stop beating and his frozen body started to move again.
No matter what you are into. You might be in deep trouble right now.
You might be totally broken but when God called your name, you can’t imagine what would happen.
May your happiness be full as He has risen.