“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain…They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned around and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).” John 20:11-16
I’ve been reflecting the past couple days about that day between Jesus’ death and His resurrection. That dark day of despair. When the disciples locked the doors and hid for fear of what would happen to them. What a hopeless day for them. They had left everything to follow this man. They trusted Him. They believed He had been the Holy One of God. Undoubtedly they began to question it all. Was any of it even real? Where was God in all of this? How could this have happened? Because one minute they were relaxing together, celebrating the Passover, and then in a matter of hours everything was ripped away. Their worlds were entirely shaken as they watched the man they thought was Messiah die a horrific, shame-filled death on a Roman cross.
But then everything changed. Because Jesus rose from the dead. God’s power swept in with glory and majesty and rolled away the stone to reveal His victory. Hope was not dead. Light was not defeated. Jesus had conquered wholly. Any doubts the disciples had were dashed as they saw their risen Savior.
So what does this mean for us? Even in our day of most intense despair, we can still cling to hope. For the same reason that hope was restored for the disciples of Christ. We serve a risen Savior. One who stands at the right hand of God, interceding for us, strengthening us, filling us with Himself. When we choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins and that He rose from the dead, it changes everything. Because that’s our declaration that God can do all things. We are now reconciled to the God of hope. Hope that we walk in victory and grace. Hope that He is good. Hope that we are saved. Hope that even when things are darkest and we have no idea why this is happening, God is at work and He will show Himself faithful and mighty.
God, You are great and Your name is great in might. All things are possible for You. As we come to Your altar to offer sacrifices of praise, as we seek to worship You wholeheartedly in spirit and in truth, meet us in this place. Sweep in with glory and power, that we may stand in awe at who You are. Allow the truth of what happened on that glorious day—that day when our Savior rose from the dead—to root in our hearts and affect every area of our lives. Our Lord is alive. This fact changes everything.