11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
The Lord made 11 appearances between His resurrection and ascension:
Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:14)
Women (Mt 28:9, 10)
Peter (Lu 24:34)
Two Emmaus disciples (Lu 24:13)
10 apostles in upper room (Jn 20:19)
11 apostles in upper room (Jn 20:26-29)
Seven disciples fishing (Jn 21)
11 apostles and others (Mt 28:16)
500 brethren at once (1 Co 15:7)
James (1 Co 15:7)
11 apostles on Mount of Olives (Acts 1)
The Lord appeared on earth three times after His ascension:
Stephen (Acts 7)
Saul of Tarsus, Paul (Acts 9)
John on Patmos (Re 1)
Our present passage relates to the appearance of Mary Magdalene. Jesus did not appear to the 11 apostles first but to a woman, a formerly demon-possessed woman at that.
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping,
Peter and John went home but Mary Magdalene remained at the tomb weeping. The term “weeping” means to wail. Her crying was noisy. She loved the Lord Jesus. He had transformed her life by delivering her from demon possession.
and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.
Mary stooped down to investigate the tomb to see for herself what was there. She was still unaware that Jesus rose from the dead. Her sole concern was that someone stole His body.
And she saw two angels [messengers] in white sitting,
“Angels” are messengers from God. They do not have wings but take the form of men. Neither do they have halos. They look like normal people. They were there to assure believers that the resurrection was a divine act (Ac 1:10).
one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
The two angels probably appeared like two young men sitting at either end where Jesus lay (Mk 16:5; Lu 24:4). The presence of these angels indicates the open tomb was by divine intervention.
The picture of two angels sitting on either side of where Jesus had lain is similar to the mercy seat. Two angel cherubim hovered over the mercy seat (Ex 25:22). Jesus is the mediator between God and man; we meet God at the cross and resurrection.
Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
The two angels asked Mary Magdalene a question to draw out the cause of her pain. It was incongruous to weep at the empty tomb of Jesus. Tears were not appropriate there.
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
Mary was still under the impression that people had stolen the body of Jesus. Jesus was still her “Lord.”
There is no need to mourn for those living.
The Lord appeared 14 times in the Bible after His resurrection. His next appearance will be to us at the Rapture (1 Th 4:16).
People with buried hopes need to come to grips with the resurrected Christ. This is especially true for those who mourn the loss of a loved one. Martin Luther fell into a three-day depression over something bad that had happened to him. His wife dressed herself all in black and went to talk to Martin. He said, “Who died?” She replied, “God.” Her point was that Martin was functioning as though God died.