The Resurrection Mourning
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping” (John 20:11).
Why did she weep? Because the tomb was empty! What needless sorrows follow in the wake of unbelief! Those tear-dimmed eyes did not see the evidence of the Lord’s resurrection. And when the angels asked: “Why weepest thou?” she said: “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” Poor woman! She would rather have found His body there!
But here are two on their way to Emmaus, no less sorrowful. They are talking together about all that has happened during the past few days and “[as] they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. And He said unto them: What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” (Luke 24:15-17).
The word “walk” here does not mean to walk on but to walk about — to wander aimlessly. They were on their way to Emmaus, but they were so brokenhearted that they did not care whether or not they got there. What had caused them to give up hope? Listen to their own explanations:
“We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:21).
They had given up hope because this was the third day since the Lord’s crucifixion, yet this was the very day He was to rise from the dead, according to His own oft-repeated promise.
Mary weeps because the tomb is empty! The two disciples are brokenhearted because this is now the third day since His death! We smile at the irony of unbelief. But what about ourselves? The risen, glorified Christ exercises far greater power and offers far greater blessings to believers now than His followers of old knew anything about.
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit! Oh, what needless pain we bear!” All because we do not take God at His Word.