Grief Before The Good News

April 18, 2022

“But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb.”

John 20:11

Written by Charles Brown from the Brentwood Campus

Sorrow is Not The End

Scripture doesn’t gloss over the very real emotions we have in the midst of our grief and confusion. John 20:11 describes a remarkable scene. In an era where women were ignored and often mistrusted, a woman becomes the first person to share her experiences with the risen Jesus.

This story reminds us that our sorrow isn’t the full story; it is simply the grief before the good news.

Encountering The Risen Lord

Later in this chapter, Mary Magdalene encounters two angels outside Jesus’ empty tomb, followed by an encounter with Jesus Himself. She obeys His commands to speak with the disciples. This event is an example of John’s Gospel which includes certain details, though without repeating the exact same points as the older Gospel writings (Matthew 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12).

To me, this makes the story more believable and true.

Life in The Resurrection

Mary has witnessed the good news of the empty tomb, but doesn’t yet realize its life-changing impact. May we also take steps towards living life in the resurrection. We are likely to discover that when we seek with affection and expectation—even if we seek in our tears—we find our Savior.

Many believers, including myself, complain of the clouds and darkness under which we are living. But Scripture instructs us to seek and accept grace for humbling our souls, mortifying our sins, and endearing us to Christ. We must hold fast to the perspective that in the midst of our disappointment and confusion, it’s simply grief before the good news.

How many times do we all forget that human life is but a very temporary, ever-vanishing robe around a permanent and abiding spirit? He has risen; the Lord has risen, indeed!

Now What?

Consider the sorrows in your life. As you feel the very real emotions and pain of your disappointment and confusion, hold fast to the truth that the risen Christ walks alongside you. Remember that your grief isn’t the end and that redemption still has a place in your story. Thank Him for the offer to live life in His resurrection.

Related Resources

Courage and Hope—Which Do You Need?

Subscribe to the Daily Devotional