She was weeping. Crying. Confused. Her mind raced and her side ached. This was the second time she had come to the tomb this morning – albeit fast this time. Peter and John were up ahead. She hadn’t been able to keep up – so she had stopped in the garden to catch her breath, and instead of doing that she began to cry.
There were SO many questions. Who would do this? What did they want with Him? Why would they have taken Him? WHERE would they have taken Him? Where were the soldiers? How had they been overpowered? Who could even have moved that stone? Where were Peter and John? Why weren’t they back yet? Surely they would be just as confused as her. She should get up and go find them.
She approached the tomb again – this time in much better light. She was looking for her friends, but instead she saw two men she did not expect.
And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 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.”
Who were they? What had just happened? She turned around still looking for Peter and John. Instead she found another man. One she did not recognize, and she was growing weary now. He had His face towards the garden, and her mind took her to a natural place. Surely this man was the gardener, there to do his work. Perhaps HE had seen something, someONE. Perhaps He had the answer to the most important question it felt like she had ever had. Where. Was. Jesus?
“Why are you crying?” He asked her in a calm and gentle tone. Obviously He didn’t understand. Had He been under a rock for the last 3 days? Had He no understanding of what had happened? The world had been turned upside down. The man they all believed in. Their leader, their teacher, their friend – they had killed Him, and hope was gone. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, now someone had taken from them even the most sacred of things – a place to come and mourn. A place where He could lay. A place where to remember all the better times and dream about what might have been. All of it was gone now, and she was overcome.
Resigned and out of options, she looked at Him and begged;
“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
John 20:15 (ESV)
And then He said her name.