THE EMPTY TOMB
(JOHN 20:1-9; MATTHEW 28:1-10;
MARK 16:1-8; LUKE 24:1-12)
It is said that three kinds of
people viewed the empty tomb: the Pharisees and the soldiers, Mary
Magdalene, and Peter and John. The first viewed the empty tomb and
saw nothing. . .absolutely nothing. And they rationalized what they
saw with a lie: "The disciples stole the body."
Then there was Mary Magdalene who
also viewed the empty tomb and apparently, like the Pharisees,
thought someone had removed the body. But, unlike the Pharisees, who
only had hate for Christ, Mary Magdalene had such a great love for
Christ. It was this love that made her come back to minister to the
corpse of Christ. Christ always referred to her as a woman who loved
Lastly, there were Peter and John.
They also viewed the empty tomb and saw everything. Their physical
eyes saw the linen and napkin; their spiritual eyes of faith saw the
resurrection. The linen was so arranged that it was evident that the
physical but now glorified body of Christ went through it as He
would later on pass through the closed door.
What is it that Mary and the
Apostles had which the Pharisees did not have? Apparently, love.
Love made Mary and the Apostles see what others could not see. Love
gives the lover a certain wisdom by which he can discern things
pertaining to the beloved.
Everyday, we, too, are surrounded
by empty tombs, by which God expresses His will to us. But, like the
Pharisees, we are blind and tend to guess God's will for us.
Mary Magdalene had great love for
Christ; though she missed the significance of the empty tomb at
first, her love made her worthy to see the resurrected Christ in the
garden. Her love for Christ was most spiritual; but this does not
preclude its human expression. So Mary Magdalene clasps the feet of
Christ, apparently refusing to let go. Christ had to say,
"Woman, let go of me."
But it was Peter and John who
showed great wisdom. From mere visible linen, they made a Divine
conclusion. Few can do this. We are surrounded by signs by which God
expresses His will but few of us can see the Divine message.
Lovers would always want to be with
their beloved; thus, Mary Magdalene wanted to be with Christ always,
even if He was dead. And so with the Apostles. It is such kind of
people who look forward to something eternal that would allow lover
and beloved to be together. And this is only possible in heaven. And
this eternal togetherness in the perfection of love can only be
initiated by each one's own resurrection.