“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”
Luke 24: 1-8 (NIV)
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Imagine going to the funeral of a dear relative or friend. You watch them lower the casket into the ground. You say goodbye through your tears. The next day you go to put some additional flowers on the gravesite and to reflect quietly on your own. As you approach you can see something is terribly wrong. Wreaths are scattered all over the place and freshly turned soil is everywhere. There is a big hole in the ground. You hold your hand over your heart to keep it from jumping out of your chest as you venture nearer and look down. There is nothing there. No coffin, no body, nothing. What would you do?
I have no idea what I would do. For sure I would not be able to sleep at night for a very long time so imagine if I had been the one to go to Jesus’ tomb with the women … and as for seeing two men in gleaming clothes too? I done faint away and pass out aka bring on the smelling salts.
But I hold these particular verses very dear especially on those days when things are tough; when everything goes wrong and what should have been right is still wrong. Those are the times when I reach out to take hold of Luke 24:1-8 and tell myself: “Girl, Jesus is risen! He conquered death and is alive so hello? He’s got your back!”
So how do we move out of the dark shadow of the wilderness into the light? How do we make it from today to tomorrow without having that nervous breakdown or out-of-body experience? Well for starters, we refuse to let the devil keep us suffocated under the details of daily living. We refuse to let him make us forget that Jesus is not dead but very much among us. We strongly grab on to our rope of faith and hold on tight, tight, tight. We continue to look for the signs that show how much God loves us; things like a beautiful blue sky or wonderful yellow flower. But most of all, we do not ever – ever, ever, ever – look for the living among the dead.
Happy Easter! May God continue to bless us all, now and forever. Amen.
“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” ~ Basil Hume
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” ~ Pope John Paul II