Why don’t we ever hear about Post-Easter depression like we do with Christmas? I have to admit I may be one of those rare few to be sad when the calendar rolls past Easter. Maybe it’s a pastor thing, but I console myself by reading about the 40 days of post-resurrection experiences Jesus had with his disciples. Today I was reading about Mary Magdalene’s deep sadness as she sought the body of Jesus in John 20:11-18. The words used are “weeping,” which is not the “pretty crying” but the ugly, red-faced kind of crying. Her sadness was mixed with mourning over Jesus, but also a frustration in trying to give honor to Jesus. Normally, such an act would be commended such as when Jesus praised the women who anointed the feet of Jesus before his death. Yet in this case, her attempt to honor the body of Jesus and all of her mourning was no longer appropriate. She even wanted to “help” Jesus by carrying off the body from wherever it was laid.
All of her “religion” of a dead Jewish teacher was insufficient in light of a risen Savior. Jesus came on the scene and spoke her name in a way she could connect the dots. Interestingly, Jesus asked, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” As if it was absurd to cry at that moment and look for bodies? Yet, if Jesus has risen than her religion no longer matters. The only thing that mattered at that second was her faith to believe that a resurrected Jesus was standing before her. That faith transformed her sorrow into joy. The encounter changed her mournful meander in a garden into a jubilant run to proclaim what she has heard. All of our efforts to “honor” God can become woefully inadequate when we are not focusing on a Jesus that is working in our life and around us. Do our demeanor and attitude reveal to the world that Jesus has risen from the dead?
For further post-resurrection reads look to John 20 -21, Matthew 28, Luke 24, Acts 1-2, 8:54-60, 9:1-19, and 1 Corinthians 15:1-19.