John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone has been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' " Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN!
THE LORD IS RISEN, INDEED! ALLELUIA!
Such joy there must have been that first Easter morn: that kind of undefinable, uncontainable kind of joy....the kind of joy that comes from deep within. Who would have EVER thought that Jesus would be (could be) raised from the dead?? Only hours before, the lives of his disciples had just about come to an end as well. Their leader, teacher, friend and companion had been brutally beaten and nailed to the Cross. He was left there to die. And die, he did. And in his death, their hopes were dashed. They spent that sabbath in grief, together ........devastated, numb, clinging tenaciously to their memories of Him. How would they go on? LIke all of us who have known such pain.... by putting one foot in front of the other. That's what the women did the next morning. With the passing of the sabbath, they knew they would now have to prepare His body properly, for burial. And so, to the tomb they went, dreading the deed that lay before them. Imagine the queer feeling that came over them, when they first saw the stone that had been rolled away. What in the world?? Later, Mary Magdalene would peer inside, only to see the linens folded neatly, and two angels in white, sitting where her master had once lain.
"HE IS NOT HERE! HE HAS BEEN RAISED! ", they said, "by the power of the Most High God".
The joy of Easter Morn comes with the sure knowledge that God's love reigns supreme. And that nothing, (and now, not even death) can ever separate us from the love of God.... as witnessed to us in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. HAPPY EASTER!
- The Reverend Annwn Myers, Associate Chaplain