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From Heaven With Love

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    Chapter 82—“Woman, Why Are You Weeping?”

    This chapter is based on Matthew 28:1, 5-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18.

    On the first day of the week, very early, the women who had stood by the cross made their way to the tomb to anoint the Saviour's body. They did not think about His rising from the dead. The sun of their hope had set. They remembered not His words, “I will see you again.” John 16:22.HLv 525.1

    Ignorant of what was even then taking place, they drew near the garden, saying, “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?” And lo, the heavens were suddenly alight with glory. The earth trembled. The great stone was rolled away. The grave was empty!HLv 525.2

    Mary Magdalene was the first to reach the place, and seeing that the stone was removed, she hurried to tell the disciples. Meanwhile the other women came. A light was shining about the tomb, but the body of Jesus was not there.HLv 525.3

    As they lingered, suddenly they saw that they were not alone. A young man in shining garments was sitting by the tomb. It was the angel who had rolled away the stone. He had taken the guise of humanity that he might not alarm these friends of Jesus. Yet about him the light of the heavenly glory was still shining, and the women were afraid. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said, “for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead.”HLv 525.4

    They looked into the tomb, and another angel in human form said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”HLv 525.5

    The women remembered now—He said He would rise again! What a day is this! Quickly they departed “with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.”HLv 526.1

    Mary had not heard the good news. She went to Peter and John with the sorrowful message, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid Him.” The disciples hurried to the tomb and saw the shroud and the napkin, but did not find their Lord. Yet even here was testimony that He had risen. The graveclothes were not thrown heedlessly aside, but carefully folded, each in a place by itself. John “saw, and believed.” He now remembered the Saviour's words foretelling His resurrection.HLv 526.2

    Christ Himself placed those graveclothes with such care. As the mighty angel from heaven rolled away the stone, another entered the tomb and unbound the wrappings from the body of Jesus. But it was the Saviour's hand that folded each, and laid it in its place. In His sight who guides alike the star and the atom, nothing is unimportant.HLv 526.3

    Mary had followed John and Peter to the tomb; when they returned to Jerusalem, she remained. Grief filled her heart. Looking into the empty tomb, she saw the two angels, one at the head and the other at the foot where Jesus had lain. “Woman, why weepest thou?” they asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she answered, “and I know not where they have laid Him.”HLv 526.4

    Then she turned away, thinking that she must find someone who could tell her what had been done with the body. Another voice addressed her: “Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?” Through tear-dimmed eyes, Mary saw a man, and thinking it was the gardener, said, “Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.” If this rich man's tomb was thought too honorable for Jesus, she herself would provide a place for Him. There was a grave that Christ's own voice had made vacant, the grave where Lazarus had lain.HLv 526.5

    But now in His own familiar voice, Jesus said to her, “Mary.” Turning, she saw before her the living Christ! Springing toward Him as if to embrace His feet, she said, “Rabboni.” But Christ raised His hand, saying, Detain Me not; “for I have not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.” Mary went her way with the joyful message.HLv 527.1

    Jesus refused the homage of His people until He ascended to the heavenly courts and from God Himself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sins of men had been ample, that through His blood all might attain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made with Christ, that He would receive repentant and obedient men and would love them even as He loves His Son. All power in heaven and on earth was given to the Prince of life, and He returned to His followers in a world of sin, that He might impart of His power and glory to His followers.HLv 527.2

    While the Saviour was in God's presence, receiving gifts for His church, the disciples mourned and wept. The day of rejoicing to all heaven was to them a day of confusion and perplexity. Their unbelief in the testimony of the women gives evidence of how low their faith had sunk. They could not believe the news. It was too good to be true, they thought. They had heard so much of the so-called scientific theories of the Sadducees that they scarcely knew what the resurrection from the dead could mean.HLv 527.3

    “Go your way,” the angels had said to the women, “tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.” The message of these angels to the disciples should have convinced them of its truth. Such words could have come only from the messengers of their risen Lord.HLv 527.4

    Since the death of Christ, Peter had been bowed down with remorse. His shameful denial of the Lord was ever before him. Of all the disciples, he had suffered most bitterly. To him the assurance was given that his repentance was accepted. He was mentioned by name.HLv 528.1

    When Mary Magdalene had told the disciples she had seen the Lord, she repeated the call to the meeting in Galilee. And a third time the message was sent to them. After He had ascended to the Father, Jesus appeared to the other women, saying, “Go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.”HLv 528.2

    Christ's first work after His resurrection was to convince His disciples of His undiminished love and tender regard for them. He would draw the bonds of love still closer around them. Go tell My brethren, He said, that they meet Me in Galilee.HLv 528.3

    But even now the disciples could not cast off their doubt and perplexity. Even when the women declared that they had seen the Lord, they thought them under an illusion.HLv 528.4

    Trouble seemed crowding on trouble. They had seen their Master die; they found themselves deprived of His body; and they were accused of having stolen it for the sake of deceiving the people. They despaired of ever correcting the false impressions that were gaining ground. They feared the enmity of the priests and the wrath of the people. They longed for the presence of Jesus.HLv 528.5

    Often they repeated the words, “We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” Luke 24:21. Lonely and sick at heart, they met together in the upper chamber, and closed and fastened the doors, knowing that the fate of their beloved Teacher might at any time be theirs.HLv 528.6

    And all the time they might have been rejoicing in the knowledge of a risen Saviour. Many are still doing what these disciples did. The Saviour is close beside them, but their tear-blinded eyes do not discern Him. He speaks to them, but they do not understand.HLv 529.1

    “Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen.” Look not to the empty sepulcher. From grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, Christ is risen! He lives to make intercession for us.HLv 529.2

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