(By Rachel Joyce)
The darkness was tinged with morning light,
As Mary Magdalene stood outside Jesus’ tomb weeping,
Her heart still overwhelmed by the shock and grief
Of the death of her Lord on that shameful cross.
Peter and John had been there, examined the tomb,
And returned home again, but Mary lingered,
With feet cold and damp from the morning dew,
And face wet with tears, as in her bewilderment,
She grappled to make sense of it all.
What had they done with her Lord?
She bowed her head and looked into the tomb’s
Darkness, when a shimmer of white caught her eye.
Not one, but two angels sitting on either end
Of where Jesus had lain, like the cherubim
Guarding the mercy seat. And gently, so gently
They asked her why she was weeping.
Then the ache of her heart poured out in words
As she cried, “They have taken away my Lord,
And I do not know where they have laid Him.”
How could she go on without her Lord?
As she turned to go, the Man standing behind her
Also asked why she was weeping, who she
Was seeking. And her words spilled out
From trembling lips, her request to be led
To where this “gardener” had laid the body,
So she could retrieve her precious Lord.
But then He spoke her name and she knew.
Only her Lord said her name like that.
And the grief and the pain were eclipsed
By the wonder and joy of His presence.
He has risen! He is no longer dead!
Our sins have been purged, we are risen
With Him. What joy fills our hearts
As He calls out our names and we know
He is with us, our glorious Lord.
And the sorrow and ache of this life
Are overshadowed by the wonder and joy
Of His presence. And we rest in His nearness
While our joy overflows and our hearts sing,
“He is risen! Praise His name!”