Mary stands outside of the tomb. They’ve taken him. The strange men say he is not here. Where have they taken him? Grief overwhelms her like a strong oppressor. They have taken him. It is enough that he is dead, but now they have taken the man. Must they also take the comfort of tending to the dead?
Woman, why are you weeping? Sorrow has made her indignant. “Where have you taken him?” she lashes out. “Tell me, just tell me, and I will care for the body. If you do not know, leave me to my grief; it is enough. I have only my sorrows for consolation.”
This is not the first time one has been called in front of a tomb. Not long ago in a place not far away, another was called outside the tomb. Not long ago, others were weeping for the dead. Some were filled with bitterness, resenting the man who could have done something. Others were sunk in their fatalistic conclusions, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” He is dead. My heart aches for him, my brother. Leave me to my grief.
Then, he speaks: “Lazarus, come out. Come out of death and into life! Come!”
And hearts still ache, but now they groan in eager longing, yearning for the unknown.
Jesus calls Mary by her name. He calls her out of the tomb of bitterness, out of grief, out of sorrow and weeping, out of tears of woe. “See,” He says. “See, I AM the Resurrection. I AM Life. I call you into life, into light, into Myself.”
It’s a call that continues to this day. It’s a soft whisper at the door of my heart. He speaks my name and that deafening whisper resounds through every fiber of my being, shattering the iron fetters that bind my heart. It breaks the grip of grief. It’s a beckon. It’s a summons. Arise! Awake O sleeper and arise! This is not the end. Come now; come out of death and into life!
Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.