On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
— John 20 1-9
He is risen. Happy Easter Everyone!
Today we celebrate both the joy and the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus. As is detailed out in the Gospel this morning, those closest to Jesus as well as his disciples were unsure what to make of the empty tomb. Some of this may have been that they were still reeling from the nature and shock of his death. It would take a while for them to realize what Jesus had told them about being raised from the dead had become a reality. It’s not so much that they did not believe, but bound by our physical nature, it’s hard to think about in terms of eternity and everlasting. The reality is though that we are joined to the eternal if we accept his invitation and let Him live in our hearts. So let us celebrate our Lords triumph today with joyful and triumphant hearts.
So in this spirit of joy please permit me to share one last thought. Throughout this week I have thought many times about the conclusion of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Yup I know it is not Christmas. But… remember how the grinch goes around stealing everybody’s decorations, food, and all the things he thought that they were going to need for the celebration? But that is not not what happened was it? NO. At the very end, the people of Whoville come out, lift their voices and hearts in song to confound the Grinch who thought he had put a kibosh on their celebration. Like those people in Whoville, we know it’s not the trappings and gatherings that bring us true Easter joy. It is our union in and through Him that raises our spirits. So even though appearances may suggest otherwise, in reality, across the miles and social distancing, we are joined together this Easter to celebrate our Lord’s triumph. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Have a joyous Easter!