Scripture

Matthew 28:1-9

Jesus Has Risen

 

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Reflection

Before this day, when Mary and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb to grieve, death had always been bigger than anything or anyone. Death was the biggest fear, the biggest struggle and the biggest sorrow. But on that first Easter, death was not so big anymore. God was bigger. Death did not have the last word, God was louder. Grief turned to joy, death turned into life, despair became hope, and Jesus was and is alive. The world would never be the same. God, Easter, was bigger than even death and the hate and sin that put Jesus on the cross.

When we think about it, sin and death can be what defines humanity.  The brokenness so many experience, and the limitations, boundaries, and finality of death at the end of whatever life might be for us dictates who we are.  People can be defined by the overwhelming nature of sin and death.

But in Christ, this changes, those who trust Christ have an existence now defined by grace and everlasting life.  In the cross, God gives us grace as a new bottom line and beginning, and in the good news of the resurrection, life is everlasting. Good news that brings meaning and purpose to every day.

The God that is big enough to forgive sin in His amazing grace and big enough to overcome death in the resurrection, is surely big enough to help us deal with every issue, worry, doubt, and fear in life. May we remember the “size” of our God as we move on from the resurrection to live as an Easter people. 

Prayer

Holy One, we are grateful for the resurrection we celebrated this week. We live in awe of your goodness and your greatness. Help us not move on from this Holy season, but live instead as Easter people, driven by the love and grace of Christ. Shape our souls, feed our spirit, and guide us with your Holy Spirit. In the name of the risen Christ, Amen.