There Is Space for All Your Emotions This Easter – Encouragement for Today – March 31, 2024

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Rachel Marie KangMarch 31, 2024

There Is Space for All Your Emotions This Easter

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"But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb." John 20:11 (ESV)

Editor's Note: Today's devotion is part of a special series for Holy Week! From March 24 (Palm Sunday) to March 31 (Easter Sunday), each devotion will focus on the events leading up to Jesus' resurrection. We pray these words will prepare your heart and mind for the celebration of our risen Savior.

One year ago, I drove 600 miles to visit my grandfather's grave. As I stood there, torn between emotions and shivering in New York's below-zero wind chill, I couldn't even shed one tear.

When I think back to this moment, I remember oscillating between grief - knowing I'd never again hug my grandfather on this side of heaven - and joy as I reflected on his life and legacy.

This Easter, I know I'm not the only one who feels an intermingling of sadness and joy. I know I'm not the only one carrying gratitude for all that is good while simultaneously cradling grief for all that is lost ... and seemingly still being lost.

We rejoice, celebrating our risen Savior.
We grieve as this month marks the fourth anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We rejoice, praising God for healing, provision and redemption.
We grieve as relationships strain, illnesses increase and wars wage on.

We're wounded, yet we wonder. We hurt, yet we hope. We feel afraid, yet we stand in awe - both of life and of Christ. This is what it means to be human - our hearts are a holy holding of every God-given emotion.

It's like when Mary Magdalene wept outside Jesus' tomb, the stone rolled away and His body gone. "But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb ..." (John 20:11). She wept, unsure of where Jesus' body lay. She wept, possibly replaying flashbacks of Jesus' suffering on the cross. She wept, likely bewildered by the chaos and confusion of it all.

Still, while Mary wept, she also wondered: "and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb" (John 20:11). She wondered, looking again to see if her Rabbi was in the tomb. She wondered, seeking a glimmer of hope. She wondered, keeping faith though she wept through grief.

And the risen Jesus, with two simple questions, made a sacred space for Mary's story. He asked her, "‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" (John 20:15, ESV) ... as if to acknowledge both the hurt she felt and the hope she held. Perhaps this is what I needed that day as I stood at my grandfather's tomb - someone to make space for it all.

This Easter, maybe your heart is holding equal parts hurt and hope. You're afraid and in awe of all you carry, whether from stories in the headlines or in your own home.

Whatever emotions you carry into this day, know that Jesus not only saves you from your sins, but He also simply sits with you - in your joy, grief, fear and wonder.

Jesus is the One who overcame the grave and the One who comes close to us.

Jesus is the One we praise and proclaim until - hallelujah - His Kingdom comes.

God, You stand with us in our sorrow. You walk with us when all is right in the world. We will praise and preach Your name, always telling others of the power of Your great love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Happy Easter! Today we celebrate Jesus' miraculous resurrection from the grave. His death and resurrection open the door for us to have a relationship with Him. Knowing God’s peace, perspective and purpose for your life begins with a personal relationship with Jesus. Find out more about how to have a relationship with Jesus when you click here!


Find hope and help for life's losses and hard seasons when you connect with Rachel Marie Kang on Instagram or at her website.


John 20:14-15a, "At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?'" (NIV).

This Easter, as you reflect on your life and the resurrection of Jesus, consider the following questions:
What would you say if Jesus asked you, "Why are you crying?"
What would you say if Jesus asked you, "What/why are you celebrating?"

We're always here to hear your heart - come and share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Rachel Marie Kang. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106