I woke up this morning and looked out my window. it was snowing. If it weren’t for the calendar on the wall, I would have thought I had entered some strange dimension and it was Christmas not Easter! Yet we are in a world that has been flipped upside. In a lot of ways, we are living in a new dimension.
New York City’s Times Square is not bustling with people. Broadway’s lights have been turned off. Our grocery stores are filled with people buying groceries with masks on. Our sanctuaries are empty. The Olympics will not happen this summer but instead they will happen next summer. Our essential workers are all putting themselves on the line for the safety of all of us.
Yet today is still Easter. We are filled with all the same emotions that come with loss and grief and were the same emotions Mary Magdalene & Mary felt that very first Easter morning. We are frightened and afraid. We are full of anxiety. We are lonely. And we are sad!
That’s the thing about death. When someone we love dies, we grieve. We want them to still be here on this side of heaven with us. Yet the dead don’t come back to life. Only God has the power to overcome death. God sent God’s Son into the world for us. Jesus was murdered for love but then three days later, he was raised.
The tomb is empty! Jesus has been raised. He has gone ahead of us. There are days to come that it will still feel like we are stuck in an eternal Holy Saturday; stuck between despair and hope. The hope however comes in knowing that the tomb is still empty. Jesus is here.
Yes, there are days that we will not want today to come. However when we are lonely from being separated from the rest of the world, the tomb is empty. When we are frustrated with our children, the tomb is empty. When there are overwhelming amounts of death, the tomb is empty. When we feel like all hope is lost, the tomb is empty. When this pandemic eventually ends, the tomb is still empty. Christ has overcome death. “Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won’t stay there (Clarence W Hall)!”
In a broken world, filled with all those same emotions the women felt that first Easter morning, we cry out, Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. As we too, like the disciples, are locked away from the rest of the world, we cry out, “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Together, as the body of Christ and for such a time as this, we cry out confidently “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
Tomorrow we might come to the tomb and still think we see the stone is still in front of it. But the stone has been rolled away. Death has been defeated. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia! That’s a promise I can trust in. And when I can’t say the words, I know that the rest of the body will say them for me until I can say them again. So if you can’t say them today, know that I’m saying them for and with you.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!