An excerpt from Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus as Recorded in Mark by Walter Wangerin Jr. :
"[For the disciples] death reigned everywhere.
But in the economy of God, what seems the end is but a preparation. For it is, now, to that attitude and into that experience that the dear Lord Jesus Christ appears--not only an astonishment, gladness and affirmation, but joy indeed!
It is the experience of genuine grief that prepares for joy.
You see? The disciples approached the Resurrection from their bereavement. For them the death was first, and the death was all. Easter, then, was an explosion of Newness, a marvelous splitting of heaven indeed. But for us, who return backward into the past, the Resurrection comes first, and through it we view a death which is, therefore, less consuming, less horrible, even less real. We miss the disciples' terrible, wonderful preparation.
Unless, as now, we attend to the suffering first, to the cross with sincerest pity and vigilant love, to the dying with most faithful care--and thus prepare for joy."