Jesus died and was put in the tomb. Because it happened in the late afternoonon the day before Sabbath, his Jewish friends did not make any of the customary burial preparations. So the women came to the tomb the day after the Sabbath to take care of those things. They came carrying a heavy supply of spices and wraps to make death as nice as it could be, covering up the smell of decay by fragrant spices. Well, did God have a surprise for them!! The body was no where to be found. The women were beyond surprised, they were distraught! They concluded someone had stolen the body of their beloved friend. They desperately wanted to find out where his body was so they could properly prepare him for burial. Angels appeared to say he was no longer dead but had risen!! Can you imagine how confusing that was!!! Death is final. Resurrection was unheard of. They were dazed and confused.
Then they were aware of a man asking what’s the matter? Thinking he was one of the cemetery employees, one of the women tried to explain. When this man said her name, she knew who He really was, the Risen Jesus. See how this personal interaction changes the mood completely! Jesus uses her name, very personal. She realizes everything about Him – that He is living, has risen from the grave to Life, and the He is LORD over Life and Death, and over her from now on.
Your path through the grief process might be similar. From overwhelming sadness, to wanting to make the best of death and this horrible situation, to seeking to take better care of the remains of your loved one, to seeking answers from God – to hearing Him call you by name. Have you come to the point when you can see that He is Lord for you too? The Risen One, the One who lived through the death process. The One who conquered death. The One who comforts the grieving.
His next message to them was this: ‘Peace by with you.” That’s my hope and prayer for you today. Peace.
This is my retelling of the resurrection account in John 20:10-20.