April 30, 2020

Grief to Joy

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 30, 2020

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb…But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb. John 20:1, 11

Around the world, Christians today continue their journey through the Easter season, celebrating with great joy Christ’s resurrection from the dead. And yet, if we’re honest, for many of us this Easter we find ourselves feeling less triumphant and more defeated. Perhaps your heart and soul resonates with Mary Magdalene on that first Easter Sunday, standing weeping outside the tomb with a heart filled with grief, confusion, and fear. 

You and I know in our heads that Easter is significant. We tell ourselves that the Resurrection changes everything. Yet we, like Mary, may be so disoriented that Jesus could be standing right in front of us and we wouldn’t even recognize him for who he is (John 20:15)! Rather than being defeated or believing this to be the end of our story or that grief will forever define us, can we instead linger long enough at the tomb to let our Lord shine through the fog of our hearts and call us by name?

“Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)” (John 20:16).

Jesus restores and reestablishes relationships with those he loves, calling them by name. Though there are many fruits of the Resurrection, and we should celebrate them all, let us not miss the power of this intimate moment between Jesus and Mary. Jesus calls her by name, and he longs to do the same for you and me. 

Undoubtedly, in one way or another, this pandemic has been for you a source of grief. It is okay to acknowledge and sit with that truth. Grief does not, in and of itself, mean we lack faith or trust in God. The only wrong step we can take in this season is to turn away from our Lord and keep our grief to ourselves. Instead, what would it look like for you to stay and weep at the empty tomb? Jesus is not angered by your grief, fear, confusion, or pain. In fact, rather than pushing you away, he longs to draw you near and calm your fears as he speaks your name in tenderness, compassion, and love.


Father, help us to encounter the hope of Easter, even in a season of darkness and fear. Amen.


What would it look like for you to stay at the empty tomb and not leave until Jesus shows up and calls your name?

Related Reading

Mark 16:6; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 1:3

Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort

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