The Lord had risen. He had risen, indeed. But none of his friends knew.
God reached into the dark tomb where dead Jesus had been laid and raised him to radiant and indestructible life. With the Easter miracle, God abandoned abandonment, forsook forsakenness, and condemned condemnation.
This will be the first Easter, but the women who make their way to Jesus’ tomb, with sweet burial spices in their hands and bitter grief in their hearts, do not yet know this. As soft rays of sunlight send night’s shadows scampering, they go to the garden grave of Jesus to do the last thing they can do for him: wrap his body to prepare for its certain decay.
This is hard and holy work they mean to do, the kind of work we do with trembling, grateful, and loving hands. They are shocked to discover that the stone has been rolled away from the tomb’s entrance. They are unsettled not to find Jesus’ body. Their thoughts at this point are not about resurrection. They are, instead, confused and afraid.
The uncertainty of these women on early Easter morning helps me, because I don’t always “know”—that is, I don’t always remember and feel—that resurrection has happened either. Thankfully, resurrection doesn’t depend on our ability to feel it; it always depends on the gracious power of God to bring life out of death. Faith, hope, and love are alive and active in the world, even when we aren’t sure that they are. Because that is true, our mistrust, despair, and fear will not overwhelm us.
We live in the bright morning of Easter, even when we don’t know that we do. The Lord has risen. He has risen, indeed!
Whenever it’s difficult for me to trust that Jesus is alive and present with me, what messengers—people, experiences, Scripture, or memories—help me experience his vital presence again?
Risen One, restore my insight and tune my intuition so that I may see and hear signs of your presence in the world. Amen.