If you’ve been a Christian for as long as I have (or longer), you’ve heard the resurrection story over and over. It never gets old, does it? Jesus’ victory over sin and death is the basis for our faith. If there was no empty tomb, our faith would have no basis. The religious leaders certainly wanted us to forget about Jesus. Their sinfulness continues as they bribe the guards to make up a story.
But the two Marys saw it all. They felt the earth tremble. They saw the angel move the great stone away. What a radiant creature this angel was. While the women were surely afraid, their fear was nothing like the soldiers on guard who fainted dead away. They certainly weren’t expecting that were they? They had been expecting the disciples to sneak up and take Jesus’ body away.
Jesus wasn’t there. He had already left the tomb. He was alive. After telling them not to be afraid, the angel gave the women a message and a mission. They were told Jesus had risen just as he had said he would, and they were instructed to go tell the disciples the news. What would you have felt if you were Mary that day? Take some time to just place yourself in that moment.
After seeing for themselves as the angel had allowed, they ran to tell the others. Their fear was mingled with the excitement of the news. Jesus was not dead! That was the best news they had ever heard. I’m sure their feet couldn’t run fast enough. And then they saw him.
Jesus met them on the way. The worshiped him right then and there. I think that’s what I would do, too. Just fall at his feet and cling. I’d look up ever so often just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. To stare into the eyes of God, what a privilege.
Jesus confirmed the message. He wanted to meet with the disciples in Galilee. Time was of the essence. News would soon get out that the tomb was empty. There would be a manhunt, wouldn’t there, for the disciples who had “allegedly” stolen Jesus’ body. Yet the guards knew the truth, just like we do.
Are you ready to meet with Jesus today? He is waiting for you.
Let’s pray. Lord, what a glorious day that was when you rose from the dead just as you said you would. I celebrate that victory and thank you for all that you endured for me. I know I sometimes fall short of what you’d want for me. Help me to stay focused on you and what you intend for me. I know it’s the best path of all. Bless each conversation I have. Use me as your hands and feet today and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.