As you can see, I have a glass of juice with me this morning. When you look at this glass, how many of you view it as half empty? And how many of you look at the juice and think that the glass is half full?
Now hold on. What if I drink all this juice? [I drank a lot of juice to empty the large glass that I had half-filled.] Now we can all see and agree that this glass is empty, right? But I do not know that it is so straightforward. Some people will look at this glass grumbling and complaining that it is empty – no juice. Others might look at it as an opportunity to fill the glass with something new and delicious. I can see that there are different ways to look at any situation.
On the Sunday after Jesus died, his friend Mary went to the tomb where his body was being kept until the funeral, but the stone was moved away from the opening. She ran to find the other disciples to tell them that the body had been moved somewhere unknown. Peter, John and Mary hurried back and saw that the tomb was empty.
Mary saw an empty tomb and felt sad – worried that someone had stolen the body of Jesus. Peter saw an empty tomb and felt curious – wondering over the cloths that had covered Jesus where he lay. John saw an empty tomb and believed. He believed that Jesus had risen from death to Heaven.
We see this empty glass and think different things about how it happened or what will happen next. Three disciples all saw the same thing and had different reactions: sadness, curiosity, and faith.
It was not until Jesus revealed himself to Mary (and she described it to the others) that they were able to agree that the appropriate emotions were relief, excitement, happiness and peace. Jesus had conquered death and would be in Heaven alongside God. That is really something to celebrate!