Two Obstacles of Easter
Benjamin Wayman, St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church
Year A – Easter; 9 April 2023
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18
Today Mary helps us see the Lord. And I’m so grateful she does. In John’s Gospel, Mary appears
only twice, but her appearances are at the climax of the story. Her first appearance is at the
foot of the cross, standing with Jesus’s mother, bearing with her the pain of Jesus’s torture and
death. Her second and final appearance is narrated in our reading today: she’s confused by an
empty tomb and greeted by Jesus, whom she mistook to be the gardener.
I wonder how she mistook him. It is not that she didn’t know Jesus. What kept her from seeing
her resurrected Lord? And what is it today that causes us not to see the resurrected Lord?
On this Easter Sunday, I’d like to explore two obstacles that obstruct our seeing and believing
the gospel. My hunch is that one of these obstacles is more substantial for you than the other,
and today we hear stories of how each are overcome by the earliest Christians.
The first obstacle that obstructs our seeing and believing the gospel is death. The second is
resurrection. These two obstacles, the cross and the empty tomb, are what Christians call “the
mystery of Easter.” I’d like to suggest that these two obstacles – the cross and the empty tomb –