It’s hard to believe Easter is just around the corner. As I contemplated Easter this season, my mind went to what it must have been like to be a participant of the first Easter. What was it like to watch as Jesus was beaten and crucified? The heartbreak Mary and the other followers of Jesus must have felt as they watched it unfold. Death is so final. Death leaves so many questions. Death leaves a huge ache, numbness, tears, and ambivalence. I can imagine Peter (my favorite disciple) with the group and in the midst breaking forth, “But, do you remember what He said about this temple being destroyed and three days? What do you think that means? We can’t give up! Not yet! And remember that time…” In the silence, in the questions, in the heartache, they remember. Remember miracles. Remember words. Remember ordinary days.
One night goes by. Another night goes by. Life seems so lonely without HIM! I wonder what the disciples did on Saturday. What had happened, wasn’t an ordinary dying. It wasn’t ordinary that the sky got dark and the earth trembled in the middle of the day. It wasn’t ordinary that the curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom. It wasn’t ordinary that a Roman soldier or others watching would say “Surely this man was innocent!”
It is now Sunday morning and Mary and the other women are headed out early with burial spices and perfumes. Anxiously, earnestly they have prepared these spices. Although their hearts were shattered, they were headed to where HE was. Not a job one wanted but a job one did in honor of someone. They approached not alone as one but as friends. How surprised and puzzled they must have been by the sight of two angels and the stone rolled away. The angels said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? Come and see where the Lord lay. Go and tell His disciples that HE IS RISEN, just as He said!” I can imagine the baffled and amazed even slightly puzzled expressions the ladies must have had. They walk out of the sepulchre and are headed to tell His disciples. In desperation, Mary sees someone she thinks is the gardener. “Tell me where you have laid Him!” Can’t you hear the anguish in her voice, see the desperation in her eyes, and feel the longing of her heart? Then Jesus says, “Mary!” And all at once it registers. This is HIM! “Master!” is her response. I am sure she was overwhelmed with emotion. After her encounter, she runs as fast as she could to tell the disciples. HE IS RISEN! I’m sure her heart-felt like it would burst within her. Of course, the Master would not leave her down! The Master always does as He promises!
I’ve got a question: Do we really grasp the power of the resurrection? Do we really KNOW the power of Christ? May we say with Paul, the apostle, “That I may know HIM and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering…”