“but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb … he said, ‘why do you weep?’”
“No more tears—He lives!” said the heavenly angel at the grave site. And Jesus said, “Amen!” as He stood before her alive.
No Christian since the resurrection has a valid reason for tears. Of course, momentarily we may weep occasionally, but if we fully understand the glory of the resurrection, even then, our hearts are filled with joy even with our eyes filled with tears! Tears no more shall control our personalities. Jesus is alive—no more tears!
Jesus himself asked Mary, “why are you crying?”—That is, this is not a time for sobbing but shouting! This is not a time of tears but triumph! This is not a time for weeping but wonder! Because He lives, we have hope for despair, victory for defeat, gain for loss, glad news instead of sad news that the world needs to hear!
“Why are you crying?”—Tears have no place in the theology and thinking of the children of the resurrection! James S. Stewart reminds us, “Christianity is a resurrection religion.” We now go to the graveyard and shout, “Glory! Our God lives!”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves--
So dry your eyes and let your heart dance with praise! Let not your heart be troubled! No more tears! What do we have to cry about? For, think with me--
At first, there is a wonderful rumor going around; the grave is empty, and He is up from the grave with a voice of victory! But now, death died when Christ arose, and Satan ran for cover!
The resurrection is to us what water is to the ocean! What stone is to the mountain! What blood is to the body! What air is to the heavens! Therefore, no more tears—why should there be?—He lives!
I know that my Redeemer lives.
What joy the blest assurance gives!
Before the resurrection, the world lived in twilight. Now it’s an eternal sunrise. He is risen! What, tell me, do we have to weep about? All our sorrows are temporary, and our victory is permanent! Mary, dry your eyes—let’s celebrate, He is alive! Jesus lives! “… she wept, she bent over …” No! Stand up and speak up—Jesus is alive! No more tears.
The resurrection morning was the beginning of a world of “Marys” with eyes without tears, hearts without hopelessness, confidence without conclusion—Mary, dry your eyes! Jesus would certainly say, “No more tears! What do you have to weep about?” “… his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) Yes, joy in the morning. Jesus lives!
I. NO MORE TEARS EVEN THOUGH YOUR NIGHTS HAVE BEEN SLEEPLESS
Think of her tossing and turning—remembering the horror of it all; the blood, the nails, the anguish and pain! The dead Jesus! Three dismal days of remembering what she had seen—blood, death, horror, burial!—sleepless nights of heartbroken grief.
1. Like Mary, Think of the Tragedy Seen~
Mary’s tragedy was a limp body pierced with cold nails, but you have your own heartbreak and tragedy. Jesus was dead, and that’s a cause for weeping! Paul said if Jesus is dead, we of all are most miserable—we have no hope if Jesus is dead, buried in a tomb.
2. Like Mary, Think of the Agony Suffered~
Life’s deep hurts and swollen eyes and an aching heart—cannot all of us remember the agony we have suffered? But it’s now behind us—no more tears! And He goes before us—no more tears! It is the resurrection that makes the difference.
Spurgeon, the great English preacher, once spoke on this text and called it “a handkerchief.” He said, “There is no reason for her to weep now that Jesus Christ has fulfilled the promise …” But she came on Easter to the graveyard with a dark handkerchief in her hand instead with a bright hallelujah in her heart! No wonder He asked her, “Woman, why weepest thou?” That question still must be answered.
The Bible asks this straightforward question, “Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why are thou disquieted within me? Hope … in God: for I shall yet praise him …” (Psalm 43:5)
II. NO MORE TEARS EVEN THOUGH YOUR EYES HAVE BEEN SIGHTLESS
Mary’s eyes only saw defeat and death. And also, like on the Emmaus Road, often our eyes are not yet open to the living Jesus! We cannot see Him without the eyes of faith! Too often we are sightless!
But the resurrection is an eye opening event!—Spurgeon said, “Do not let tears dim your eyes’ view of Christ.” Lord open our eyes to Him!
1. How Could She Delay Going to the Tomb?~
When Mary went to the tomb—she thought only of the Jesus that was—she honored His memory. Because she loved Him. She went to pay homage to a fallen leader that she dearly loved. That’s where she was at that moment.
2. How Could She Doubt Standing at the Tomb?~
“… Mary had returned to the tomb and was standing outside crying. And as she wept, she stooped … ‘Why are you crying?’ the angels asked her.” (verses 11, 13; Living Bible)
And there is more. “She glanced over her shoulder … It was Jesus …” (verse 14) “‘Mary!’ Jesus said. She turned toward him. ‘Master!’ she exclaimed.” (verse 16) When doubts disappear, so do our tears! He was there very much alive—no more tears! Jesus lives! He is really alive!
Listen to Professor James S. Stewart of Edinburgh, Scotland, triumphantly say, “Here is the offer: the power which shattered death for Jesus, the power in which Christ is alive at this moment, to help us now live!” Yes, including to dry our eyes of the tears and to make us all resurrected personalities, throbbing with new life!
III. NO MORE TEARS EVEN THOUGH YOUR AMAZEMENT MAY BE SPEECHLESS
So amazing, so overwhelming is this reality! He is alive—really, really alive—sometimes we are speechless before the wonder of it; therefore, no more tears!
1. There Was the Moment When It All Fully Changed Because He Was Alive!~
When it fully dawned on her—have you had such a moment? First, with faithless eyes she saw a gardener. Then with faith-filled eyes she saw her God! He is alive, and He has something to say to us which changes everything—therefore, no more tears, for it has no place with us!
Because of the resurrection we have more confidence that we shall rise from our graves someday than that we shall rise from our beds tomorrow! What do we have to weep about?
Jesus is alive! So we have a festival to celebrate, not a funeral to endure! — Which means, the greatest news the world ever heard came out of a graveyard! Therefore, wipe your tears away! Let’s come to a place to do some resurrection shouting instead of graveyard sobbing!
At first Mary was stunned into silence by His presence—He was alive from the dead. She was awestruck. Her amazement at first caused her to stand before Him speechless. But then it came rushing forth—“I must tell everyone.” One moment she could not speak and the next she could not stop speaking! It should be the same with us. Go and tell!
Let’s have glory instead of grief—He is alive! What are you and I crying about? Our God has conquered the grave!
2. There Was the Message Which Was Fully Charged Because He Was Alive!~
“‘Master!’ she exclaimed.” (verse 16) Those words must have exploded from her lips.
A master is one who is in control—and He is in authority! Call Him Master of death! And call Him Master of your problems! And call Him Master of your all—yes, call Him Master! And the Master asked, “Why are you crying?” So that, in the early church as it spread through the world, the heart-cry was “Jesus is Lord!” “Jesus is Lord!” And, believe me, thousands have died with those words as their last words—“Jesus is Lord!” He is indeed Lord and Master; we acclaim Him.
Master indeed, over death, over doubt, over demons! Master! So it’s Him, “Master!” Immediately, she found the disciples, filled with joy even too great for words, and her once tear filled eyes shining bright; and, once speechless, yet she somehow blurted out, “I have seen the Lord!” And notice, “She gave them His message” (verse 19). Think of that, will you give the world full of tragedy and tears His message of hope? Tell them He lives.
John Stott called the resurrection of the Lord Jesus “the mainstay of our Christian assurance.” We must forever remember that the resurrection of Jesus is presented in the New Testament as the most glorious demonstration and proof of the supernatural power of God. — Jesus is alive!
So that, when it becomes a reality in our lives, not only does it dry our eyes; it also sets our hearts ablaze and puts a song in our mouth and fearlessness in our souls. So that, what we have to ask about the resurrection is not whether it happened historically, but what difference has it made in our lives presently? All of them, not only Mary but all the disciples of Jesus, were despondent, disillusioned, and near despair; but after the resurrection they went out to turn the world upside down—and so should we!
Dry your eyes—Jesus lives. Wipe away your tears and ring out your triumph—Jesus lives!