Jesus Is Alive
(Matthew 28.1-10; Mark 16.1-8; John 20.1-10)
1Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2When they found the stone rolled away from the entrance, 3they went in. But they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus, 4and they did not know what to think.
Suddenly two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. 5The women were afraid and bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why are you looking in the place of the dead for someone who is alive? 6 Jesus isn't here! He has been raised from death. Remember that while he was still in Galilee, he told you, 7‘The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail him to a cross. But three days later he will rise to life.’ ” 8Then they remembered what Jesus had said.
9-10Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women were the ones who had gone to the tomb. When they returned, they told the eleven apostles and the others what had happened. 11The apostles thought it was all nonsense, and they would not believe.
12But Peter ran to the tomb. And when he stooped down and looked in, he saw only the burial clothes. Then he returned, wondering what had happened.
How do you wait when the promise of hope and healing you’d nurtured for months and years has died?
The women who had cared – literally – for Jesus had seen him die. They’d watched Joseph and Nicodemus take his battered body down, wrap it in fine cloth, gently place it in Joseph’s tomb. No more hope. No more healing. Yet, despite that, they’ve returned, one last time, to anoint his body with the spices they’ve prepared.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” two strangers ask them. He’s risen just like he told you in Galilee, the two strangers continue.
It’s only then that the women remember what Jesus had told them about his dying and his rising to life. He had told them! Just as he tells you – both the big Story (he loves you with an everlasting love; you have been new: all things are possible; nothing can separate those who love him from his love; one day all tears will be wiped away) and the role in that Story that only you can play.
What has he told you . . . that you’ve forgotten in the face of all that conspires in this world to make you believe that the hope and healing for which you long is both improbable and impossible?
It’s easy, in the interminable hours between dusk and sunrise, after the dust and noise and horror of death has settled, to think, “This is it.”
Even so, remember.
As you wait, remember the song he sings with delight over you (Zephaniah 3:17); the promises from Scripture that are all for you; the facets of his character he’s shared with you. Wait. Remember. Then step out at sunrise into the miracles that wait for you.
Light of the world, our wired existence bombards us with 24/7 words and images that tell us hope is a dangerous thing and healing a myth. Please tell us again what you’ve already said to us and over us. We’re listening. In Jesus’ name. Amen.