But there have been tears this Easter...in Pakistan where scores of people were brutally murdered by Taliban terrorists targeting Christians. Just as Mary went to the tomb expecting to find Jesus but didn't, so many families in Lahore, Christian and others, went out to that park expecting to have a good time, but instead met with tragedy.
We should pray for Pakistan: first, that the government will take the security of ALL its people seriously and ensure the safety of the Christian community which has been the target of so many attacks from Islamic extremists; and secondly that through their tears our Christian brothers and sisters will again encounter the risen Lord Jesus as Mary Magdalene did.
Tom Wright comments on Mary's mistaking Jesus for the gardener; in a way this was not a mistake because Jesus appears as one who is the Lord of new life, the Lord of a new garden and new growth.
Wright is so eloquent, I can't resist quoting him at length:
Ask people around the world what they think is the biggest day of the year for Christians. Most will say 'Christmas'. That's what our society has achieved: a romantic mid-winter festival...from which most of the things that really matter (the danger, the politics) are carefully excluded. The true answer - and I wish the churches would find ways of making this clear - is Easter. This is the moment of new creation. If it hadn't been for Easter, nobody would ever have dreamed of celebrating Christmas. This is the first day of God's new week. The darkness has gone, and the sun is shining.