And sees two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.…
1. Christians are often sorrowful when, if they had clearer knowledge and stronger faith, they would rejoice. "Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping." She wept because she thought He was dead. But the absence of the body — an additional grief — was a proof that there was no cause for grief. That which then caused weeping, afterwards caused rejoicing. And thus we often weep at that which would give us joy did we rightly know or fully trust.
2. Angels sympathise with Christians in their sorrow.
3. The thought of losing Jesus is enough to make His friends weep. "She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." It is grief to Christians when, in any sense, their Lord is taken away.
4. Jesus is often very close to His disciples when they do not perceive Him. "She turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus." We think only of the servant when we should acknowledge the Master. We rest in the means of grace when we should rise to the Giver of grace. We deem Him absent when, in the blessing He gives, through the humblest of instruments, we should adore Himself.
5. Christ's first resurrection word was one of consoling sympathy: not of power, victory, or vengeance. He is tender, loving still: "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." His first word was not to an official but a private person; not to the strong but to the weak; not to an apostle but to Mary. He spake to womanhood through her. He knew how often woman weeps unseen — what a martyrdom of grief she often undergoes by sensibilities wounded, yearnings unsatisfied, love unrequited, closest ties torn asunder.
6. True love may be combined with deficient knowledge. "Sir, if Thou have borne Him hence, tell me where Thou hast laid Him and I will take Him away." Because He was uppermost in her feelings all the world besides must think of "Him" too. So let the thought of Jesus be in our hearts. Will He be pleased? What would He have me to do? In this enterprise, affection sees no difficulties. Love laughs at the impossible. Jesus accepts true love in spite of its errors. There may be theology, correct and complete in every detail, but without love; and there may be love, true and deep, allied with much ignorance. Should not we also be lenient with intellectual mistakes when associated with reverent love? Jesus will excuse mistaken modes of worship and of thought; but no orthodoxy or churchmanship, however sound, will win recognition from Him without love.
7. Christ knows His disciples individually. "Jesus saith unto her, Mary."
8. Every true disciple recognizes the Saviour's voice. "She saith unto Him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master." Do we thus confess Him to be "Master?" saying, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"
(Newman Hall, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.