But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. —John 20:11
Scripture captures the very moment when heartache turned to hope. Mary— seeing the stone rolled away from the front of the tomb—stoops down and looks inside. Her weeping will turn to temporary confusion, no doubt, but what she doesn't yet realize is this is the day when God would give "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3).
Before the day is over, the truth of the resurrection will be confirmed.
Jesus will appear to Mary and the disciples, and they will discover that all His words were true—that He indeed is the Son of God, that He is the Lamb of God who gave Himself as a ransom for sin, that He is all that He claimed to be, that He is the resurrection and the life, the way and the truth.
On this new day, this first day of the week, something new was born. The bridge between man and God was gapped, and a new relationship was made possible. Because He lives, we can live. Because He conquered the grave, we need no longer fear death. Because He defeated sin, we can be free from sin's clutches.
There in front of that empty tomb, Mary experienced the truth of the psalmist's words: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).
Father, we thank You for the empty tomb, and for the glorious hope it brings. We thank You that because Jesus conquered the grave, we need not fear death. Amen.