He is Risen!
Those glorious words resound throughout all nations this morning because, Praise be to God, our Saviour lives!
I wanted to spend some time over this week mulling over the Easter story, from start to finish. I find that imagery really helps me better understand the Scriptures. And if there’s anything to better understand from the Bible, it would be Jesus’s immense love for us, and the salvation He brought.
I tried to put myself in the shoes of the two women who witnessed their beloved friend and son’s death, mourned for days, and then went to Jesus’ tomb and discovered it empty.
What was it like emerging from the darkness of the last three days? The black and sunless hours prior were surely some of the most bleak, heart-wrenching, and confusing days of the disciples’ lives.
I imagine that the death toll of the hammered nails, ripping curtain and thundering heavens rang out in their minds for hours.
I imagine that hopeless feeling in pit of Mary’s stomach, knowing her son was crucified innocently.
I imagine the disciples weeping and holding one another, unsure of what steps to take next.
But I’ve also been imagining what happened next on that very first Easter morning. What might it have been like for Jesus’ closest friends and family?
Did the sunrise suddenly paint the sky pink and orange? Did the tulips and iris and lilies burst forth from the ground and sparkle in the sunlight? Was there an effervescent light illuminating the tomb from the inside out?
Or was the morning more serene and simple…less glorious and grand? Maybe the sun rose slowly, stretching over the once shadowed trees. Maybe the reeds bent and swayed in the wind. Maybe the tomb first looked dark and ominous as the disciples realized it was empty.
Did it take them minutes or seconds to realize He had indeed risen?
I imagine gasping. Gawking. Searching. Seizing one another by the shoulders and heads shaking in confusion.
I imagine Mary seeing the Lord for the first time, thinking he was the gardener, and nearly sobbing in both relief and joy.
I imagine later that evening, the disciples nervously locking their doors and jumping from their seats when Jesus appeared. I hear them shouting, “Teacher!” and hesitantly eyeing and touching the holes where nails had pierced his hands, feet and sides.
And Jesus simply says,
“Peace be with you.”
What a chaotic, traumatic, and mind-boggling 72 hours that must have been for those disciples.
What glory, joy and hope they must have felt at the end of Easter evening!
Can you imagine?
I’m thankful that in a way, we don’t have to imagine. I’m so grateful that Jesus truly is risen today and that He is present in our very lives right now.
I’m thankful that I can look to the sky and see the barely budding tree branches wave to the heavens, praising the God who created both them and the greatest love story ever written. And that I can inhale the scent of fresh, green earth and know that the same God who watered it gave His only Son for my sake. And that I can feel the warmth of the sun’s rays, resting above me where the everlasting, ever-living, ever-loving Jesus ascended eight days after that first Easter morning.
Imagining Easter morning today, I am thankful that Jesus loves me and that He is Risen!