Brokenhearted Mary


Matthew 20 – 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 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.”  -ESV

Mary was in despair. We can only imagine all of the emotions Mary had spilling out of her. Fear? Sadness? Confusion? Anger? This may have been the darkest moment in her life.  When you weep, it’s not a controlled thing that is an appointment on your calendar.  There isn’t an on or off switch that allows you to calmly dab the tears from the corners of your eyes.  Emotion takes over, and there is nothing you can do but let it flow.

Earlier in this same passage, Mary Magdalene had discovered that the body of Jesus was gone, and she had not been able to make sense of it.  After running and telling some disciples who also came to see, they left her, and she was once again alone at the tomb without answers.  Mary was more than sad, she was heartbroken.  She couldn’t make sense of the situation, and the people she had gone to for help had essentially abandoned her without peace  in her heart.  Jesus was brutally murdered by the Romans (and still dead in her mind), and she could only assume that now someone had stolen his corpse too.  The insult on top of  the agony was just too much.

Have you ever wept?  Not just cried, but wept?  It’s the type of pain that is more than just losing control of the liquid spilling out of your eyes and nose.  Your entire body heaves in nearly uncontrollable fashion.  You do more than cry, you groan and your muscles ache.  Some people may even lose the ability to stand up or keep any food in their stomach, and essentially they become a very unflattering heap laying on the floor like a bag of convulsing human bones and flesh. When someone weeps, the pain is so real that your entire body heaves in distress.

This morning while spending some time listening to scripture, this little passage caught my attention.  Not only because Mary was in agony, but because of how the angels questioned her (I wonder why they were there), and then because of what happened next.  I love how Jesus met her while she was in emotional turmoil, spoke with her (I would love to know how different he looked to her), and gave her the honor of telling others of his resurrection.  Mary was not someone who at that moment likely looked like she was stoic and had it altogether.  But it was someone that loved him, looked for him, and knew she was lost and brokenhearted without him.  All at once he gave her hope, joy, and something to do to honor him which was of tremendous importance.

Matthew 20 –14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.” -ESV




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