Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will take Him away.” — John 20:15 MEV
Mary was willing to take the body away. She was basically saying, I know he’s dead, but I want to preserve his memory. I want to preserve him as he was — an idealistic prophet with a plan that might have changed everything, but was too good for this world. This world could not allow that idealism to take root, and it never will. But we can remember and honor him for what he was and what he tried to do.
How many Christians today have this same response to the life of Christ, I wonder. We try to preserve the memory of the crucified Savior in just this way: we understand what he taught, and we see the perfect pattern for how he loved, but we don’t believe that will work in this world. It is too idealistic. To go along with that practice is only to open your own self up to crucifixion.
Instead, we try to stick with the old system at the same time we honor the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We preserve the picture of the crucified Savior who paid for our sins, yet still insist on continuing to function within the parameters of the system he came to fulfill. We choose stand by the law, an eye for an eye, rather than accepting the new truth that the resurrection gives us — that Justice has already been fulfilled.
Jesus purchased justice on the cross; we are no longer in the law-enforcing business. His resurrection proves that love triumphs over law. We need not focus on the preservation of the old way, the old corpse of the dead law, but we are now free to reach out and embrace this new law of love embodied in the risen Savior.