Sometimes we forget the promise that He is no more in the tomb, in the dead places, in the broken places that remind us of all that has gone by. Like Mary, we search frantically for the body of our Lord in this places, we don't find Him. We find an empty tomb, we weep, we cry cause we think it's a second death and our Lord's body has been stolen from us. Wasn't it enough they killed Him, wasn't it enough they beat Him so bad, mocked Him and took Him away so soon from a people in need of him. No more miracles from the hands of the Nazarene. Imagine with me for a while, we are Mary and the others and we have brought spices to anoint the body of our dead Lord. Imagine, stay on it, ponder. What emotions run through you?
I think one of the many flaws we exhibit as christians in telling the God story is that we rush over to the light part too soon. The dark friday and saturdays are only emphasized for a second before we show the sunday slides all day long. We brush over the hopelessness like it was nothing. We talk of the darkness like it has no power before the light comes. We trivialize evil and maybe that's why the listeners don't listen and tag us playful or 'they don't know what they're saying'. They want to know. They want to know how dark the darkness His light can chase. They want to know if there's hope for such hopelessness as theirs. But telling it like a fairy tale does none of these things. In fact pick a bible up; the pesky death parts and heartbreaks aren't skipped, they are told.
So imagine with me, we are Mary. What emotions run through you. I will tell you mine. I feel hopeless, I feel wasted. I feel my efforts have been in vain. All the spice and all. I feel the memory of something sweet has just been snatched from me. But in all this feelings, a voice calls to us from behind, we think he is the gardner so we ask him harshly ' where have you taken our Lord? Where have you kept Him?'.
But in that moment we hear our name again 'Mary' and we see we are being called by our Teacher not a gardner.
Sometimes all we need is some guiding, instructing and learning to gain a better perspective on things happening around us. But sometimes I'm scared of us, I'm scared of a generation that has tagged God it's gardner and not it's Teacher. We need a guide not a genie, we need to be led not to lead. We need to go back to the spiritual classrooms and take permanent seats.
This might help us: sometimes we forget, we forget that He promised to go away all for our own good. All for our own good. . So that He could come to us in a greater measure, as a counselor, helper, our advocate and teacher. To abide in us and not just around us.
It is for our good he went so that the counselor, the Spirit present at creation, the Spirit of truth can come and abide in us. I have heard christians talk about how they wish they lived in the times of Jesus. Sometimes honestly, I wish He's sitting across my bed so we can talk about the matters that are dear to my heart, and discuss the questions that wake me up in the wee hours of the morning staring at my ceiling but I'm failing to see the good in his absence. I am failing to see he is present even while absent in a greater way. I'm failing to see that more than across my bed, he lives in me doing life with me when I let him and in fact calling me to a deeper place at every moment.
So on empty tombs and empty hearts, we must learn from these stories. These all happened as a warning and platform for us to do a better dance and have less missed steps in the waltz called life.
First, whenever we arrive at our empty tombs whatever that might be for you, maybe a failed relationship or a future that gets you questioning the promises of God, pause and gain perspective. Don't call the teacher a gardner. It would help us hear what He has to say to us, and explain to us what happened while we were asleep on our 'saturdays' and where we are to meet Him come 'monday'.
And, we must remember. We need this in our memory constantly if we would ever have what he desires for us to have with him, that deep place that - it is all for our good he went to the tomb. When we feel empty and lost, we need to open the pages of the bible to see the picture of the empty tomb. No bones, no decayed flesh. He's not lying dead someplace in Jerusalem. He lives in you. He's risen. The tomb is empty so we wouldn't be.
" But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, 'Where are you going?' Instead, the longer I've talked, the sadder you've become. So let me say it again, this truth: It's better for you that I leave. If I don't leave, the Friend won't come. But if I go, I'll send him to you." - Jesus (John 15 : 5-7)