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Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. . . . [She] stood weeping. . . .

As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “. . . Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and she told them that he had said these things to her.

—John 20:1, 11–18

LOOK: ‘Woman, Why Are You Weeping?’ by Rebekah Pryor

Pryor, Rebekah_Woman, Why Are You Weeping
Rebekah Pryor, ‘Woman, Why Are You Weeping?’, 2016. Pigment on archival cotton rag, 60 × 59 cm.

Dr. Rebekah Pryor [previously] is a visual artist, curator, scholar, and member of Australian Collaborators in Feminist Theologies. In this photograph of hers, she poses as Mary Magdalene in the garden of the resurrection at the moment when the risen Christ appears to her. Having wept copious tears, represented by the mounds of salt in front of her, Mary kneels in the soil as she converses with this man whom she at first supposes to be the gardener. Pryor writes that “dawn light and the horizon of regrowth suggest the possibility of ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ in which death, dying, mourning and crying will be no more (Revelation 21:1-5).”