I don’t care how you feel:
Bitterness was a very mild word for the way I felt about those who had just murdered my best friend. I hated the politicians and religious rulers and all their cronies who had conspired to put my friend to death. Three days and nights I brooded, wishing the worst kind of torturous death upon each and every one of them.
Early that morning I aroused the other ladies. We would go to his grave and express our love for him again.
As the sun rose in splendour my bitter heart said, “How can the day look so grand when my heart is dark and mournful.” I wished for stormy skies that fitted my mood.
One of the girls asked, “Who will roll the great stone from the door for us?”
“The stupid soldiers,” I spat, “after all, they killed him.”
We rounded a bend and saw: no soldiers and the tomb wide open. The cloths we had wrapped around his body lay in disarray but he was gone. They must have taken him away. While we stood in deep despair at what we had found, we saw two men in white who said, “Why are you weeping? Your friend is not dead he has risen just as he told you before.”
When we looked again they were gone.
I hurried to the hiding place where the rest of his friends had spent the past three days in misery.
Banging on the door I called, “Come quickly;”
Peter asked, “Why all this commotion so early in the day.”
“He’s not in the tomb,” I shouted.Then I explained what had happen to Peter and to John who had joined him.
“Woman; you are crazy. You must have imagined those two men in white,” Peter replied.
He and John ran to see what had really happened.
On arriving at the tomb they found it just as we had reported. They went back to the hiding place but I remained there weeping. My bitterness grew as I though how those despicable men had not only murdered my friend, but now, had hidden his body so I could not express my great love to him.
He was no ordinary friend. When I was selling my body in order to pay for my own rotten habits, bound by lust and addiction, it was he who had cast out the evil spirits that drove me .He gave me a new life. His love for me lifted me from the gutter and restored me to real life. He had made me a woman of respect and given me real value.
His love had taught me how to live and I loved him more than life, itself, but now he was gone forever. I bitterly resented the religious leaders and the politicians. As I stood there in the garden, my bitterness growing worse and worse, another man approached.
Tenderly he asked, “My dear, why are you weeping?”
“Because they have taken away my very best friend and teacher, and I don’t know where they have taken him.”
It happened. I heard the voice of my friend Jesus as he softly spoke my name, “Mary.”
Sweet joy filled every fibre of my being. It was Jesus. I fell at his feet and clung to him. I am not sure whether he actually said it but somehow I thought I heard, “Mary; forgive them they do not realise what they have done.” A new love filled my heart and I held on tightly.
“Mary, you must let me go for I have not yet visited the Father, but tell my disciples and Peter that I am going ahead of them to Galilee and will see them there,”
With great joy I now ran to the hiding place and bubbled out the good news of his resurrection. They didn’t want to believe me, but Jesus showed himself to them as well.
My bitterness had evaporated. I just wanted the whole world to know that Jesus was alive and could do for them what he had done for me. The sweetness of His love now constrains me and all bitterness is gone.
Religion may fail you and politics will surely disappoint you but Jesus is the only name given among men whereby we must be saved. I don’t care how you feel; please don’t let your bitterness bind you in hopelessness. Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
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