Monday, April 1, 2013

Mary weeps at the tomb

11 ¶But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 
 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. (John 20:11-16)

Mary’s weeping at the tomb is a situation of both pathos and absurdity.  When I read it, I feel for Mary’s grief and loss, but I also can’t help grinning.  There is something oddly humorous about how she doesn’t recognize Christ and tells her loss to Him without knowing that she no longer has reason to cry. 

This leads to the question—why does Jesus take such a curious way of revealing himself?  Why doesn’t He tap her on the shoulder and say, “Here I am!  Ta-da!”  Perhaps such a method would have elicited anger and disbelief..  So instead, He goes at it indirectly, asking why she is crying, hearing her explanation, and then calling her attention with her name so that she will look up and recognize Him. 

It seems Jesus knows how to treat a grieving woman—listen to her troubles first, sympathize, and then solve the problem.


Ramona Gordy said...

Hi Michaela, hope you had a wonderful Easter Sunday. Love your synopsis, I heard a teaching on this very subject. The teacher touched upon the mindset of the disciples and their perception of him when he worked among them.

Quite a few of his disciples had not accepted him as the "Son of God", even though they witnessed many miracles and even the greatest one, which was raising Lazerus from the dead.(Only 3 witnessed the transfiguration, but they weren't there.)

Thomas doubted, Peter vacillated, many of his disciples fled after he was taken into custody.
There were still many lessons Jesus had to teach, even while on the cross. The scriptures point out that Mary Magdelene was one of a handful of his disciples to witness his journey to the cross, death and burial. The enormity of this blows the mind, and everything she was taught was second only to the overwhelming grief she felt.

But she "remembered" and in going to the tomb, she went in faith. One record states that she met 2 "angels" and after that she encountered Jesus.

It was suggested in this teaching that we look at this as Mary's conversion, of her reciving the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to "see the Savior" as he really is.(The HS would not come until Pentecost)But for her and us revelation is a process where we sound it out in our minds and ask if these things are true, and in response if they are true, we receive a "burning " in our hearts.

One recurring statement Jesus made in his ministry was "I make all thing new". So many Temple references here, with Christ represented as the veil or the door through or the way, truth & life.So much happened in that "moment" and if we can veiw it "spiritually", time stopped and the Savior was able to teach Mary and give her the gift of the HS and commission her to spread the good news to the other disciples. She is called an apostle to the apostles.
Good post

Ramona Gordy said...

PS: Spmething to consider:
You said:
"There is something oddly humorous about how she doesn’t recognize Christ and tells her loss to Him without knowing that she no longer has reason to cry."

This is something to ponder, what will help us or anyone recognize Christ at his coming? What will prompt us to "see him as he really is". We "know" these truths now, and we recite and rehearse and memorize, but in that moment of his "reveal", our hearts may fail us, we may be tempted to run away in fear, but I love that Jesus called her name, as a gesture of recognition and love.

Michaela Stephens said...

Ramona, if I understand you, you are talking about how Jesus's followers' head knowledge hadn't caught up with their heart knowledge and the role the Holy Ghost plays in that. It was a challenge back then, and it is a challenge now, isn't it?

Ramona Gordy said...

Yes and yes. But there is no shame in that, because the challenge should motivate us to seek the Holy Spirit and invite him in our lives for a more closer relationship, and then we can "become" as the Savior is.