Whether or not Holy Week is a part of your faith system, it’s doubtful that you have missed the fact that this is Holy Week. One of the authors who recorded the events of that week started describing Sunday morning with the word “it was still dark.” Obviously he was referring to the time of day but also to the state of things. The state of things on that day were grim. Many had put their hope in someone that was now dead. As I read those words this week, I thought about the state of things in 2016. Having just watched the tragedy of Brussels, the state of things here can seem hopeless. Certainly this is a dark hour.
As I continue to read from this original author, he focuses on Mary, a women who was present at the cross and is now at the grave. She is mourning and full of emptiness. Mary moves through the dark to the tomb not expecting anything but to simply be there. She is in the middle of her own darkness, her own loss. This is a place to come and grieve.
Mary is already in shock and what she finds now is incomprehensible. The tomb is empty, the body of her precious and loved friend is gone. All she wants at this point is for someone to give her back the dead body of Jesus. She runs right into a fully alive Jesus outside the tomb but she doesn’t recognize him. Experts like to debate why Mary didn’t recognize Jesus. It seems really simple to me. She wasn’t looking for him! She was looking for a corpse. She was expecting death.
When you’re looking for death you won’t recognize life!
When you focus on your job as a place where you are underpaid and overworked, then all your looking at is death. You aren’t expecting to find life there. When you see your future as hopeless, all you are focused on is loss. You can not see life because your looking for a carcass.
When you read the original story you see that Mary had to “turn to face him.” She had her back to the One who was Alive. She could not take her eyes off the tomb. She kept facing the place that housed death! What is it you are focused on? Decide today to get your eyes off of death!