by Tony Nester

Mary, Why Are You Crying?
Tony R. Nester
John 20:1-18

Had you been near the tomb of Jesus on the first Easter morning one of the sounds you could have heard was the sound of a woman crying. Her name was Mary Magdalene - and she was wrenched by sorrow.

She was crying the cry of grief. Jesus, her Lord, had died the previous Friday afternoon. He had died in shame and agony on a cross outside the gates of Jerusalem.

Grief is the emotion of unwilling separation. Though we want to hold our loved ones close to us death effects a terrible separation.

I have shared with many of you the fact that my mother died when I was twelve years old. What I remember most about her funeral service was how the service ended. The funeral director came over to where my family was sitting and drew closed a curtain so we would not see him close my mother's casket. I hated that curtain. It was the curtain of death separating me from my mother.

One day a tourist visited a little chapel out in the Pacific Northwest. It was a frame church and had stained glass windows and a beautiful altar. As he left the church, he stopped to sign the guest register. Leafing through the pages to see if he recognized any of the names, he spied one particular entry. No name was listed, just the date and these words, ''Thank you for a place to cry.'' (1).

Mary's place to cry was at the tomb of Jesus. She was crying the cry of grief - the cry of an unwilling separation. Some of you know this cry.

Mary was also crying the cry of outrage. Jesus' death was an act of cruel injustice. He had been innocent of crime, innocent of blasphemy, innocent of sin. And yet he been executed in the cruelest of ways - crucifixion.

Mary was crying for all of us who are struck down by the unfairness, the injustice of life. We ask ''Why this catastrophe? .. this illness? .. this death?'' And our cries receive no answer that satisfies us.

Mary was crying the cry of absence. She had met Jesus in Galilee. Sh ...

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