The Lord is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! I wonder how many times I’ve heard that. Yet how reassuring- We serve a risen Lord!
What are your Easter Memories? I was out for breakfast with my cousins Saturday morning and this question came up.. Someone mentioned that Easter is her favorite religious holiday.. In some ways I agree, I love the newness of life that Easter represents, and spring time is so welcome.. One of my favorite Easter memories is from last year- getting up at 5;30 to head out on the dock with Steve, Valerie and their 4 children and serenading all of Santa Rosita with Easter songs as the sun rose.. I can imagine somewhere a little Latino lady pausing in the midst of her early morning tortilla making to listen to the faint strands of music and shake her head and think “gringos!” 😉 (my understanding of that word would be “white people” )
Another favorite Easter memory/ tradition that I love is the youth singing in the balcony at church for the 15 mins before church starts.. “Lift your glad voices in triumph on high, the Savior hath risen and men shall NOT die..” Easter, Crocuses,Springtime, Daffodils, Warmer weather, green grass.. Yes, Katie-this is a splendid time of year!
I serve a risen Savior He’s in the world today- I Know that He is living whatever man may say..
I taught Sunday School today and was amazed at the emotions in John 20. Enjoy this for what it’s worth
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdelene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre and seeth the stone taken away from the seplechre
In the quiet darkness of the morning, three ladies make their way to Jesus’s tomb. Emotionally exhausted from the lack of sleep and in deep sorrow, their early morning mission was to finish the embalming process for the man they loved. The huge stone that sealed the entrance of his grave weighed heavy on their minds. You can imagine Mary peering intently into the hazy morning light, blinking the sleepiness of her eyes away, startled at the discovery- the tomb was open!
Then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter and to the other disciple that Jesus loved and saith to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre and we know not where they have laid him.”
Heart pounding, Mary took off like the wind, and ran to where the disciples were gathered. Were they awake? She arrives out of breathe with this shocking announcement “They’ve taken the Lord’s body out of the grave and we don’t know where they’ve laid Him!”
Peter therefore went forth and that other disciple and came to the sepulchre
Peter springs into action. John joins the investigation as well
So they ran both together and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
The urgency/irony of the situation prompted a footrace. John was younger than Peter and had the advantage. He arrives first on scene.
And he stooping down and looking in saw the linen clothes lying, yet went he not in.
Keeping a safe distance, John peered into the tomb. Mary was right. The body was missing!
Then cometh Simeon Peter following him and went into the sepulchre and seeth the linen clothes lie.
Huffing and puffing up the trail-Peter doesn’t waste any time observing- he enters the tomb and looks around and sees the grave clothes lying there.
And the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Everything was folded neatly eliminating the possibility of a grave robber. Who would have taken the time to remove the clothes off of a body and wrap them up?
Then went also the other disciples, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed
Timidly John entered and after accessing the situation, he believed
For as yet they knew not the scriptures that He must rise again from the dead
Hadn’t Jesus prophecied this? “Just as Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish for 3 days and nights, so must I-the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and nights.” And “The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone-a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels-a plentiful harvest of new lives.” Even though He had taught them all of this, it was difficult-virtually impossible to comprehend this event.
Then the disciples went away unto their own home
Operation Investigation complete- There was nothing more to do. The body was gone. Peter and John left the scene and returned home…
But Mary stood without the sepulchre weeping. And as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher.
Mary was left alone in her sorrow. Tears fell at this point. Mary gazed inside numbly refusing to believe.
And seeth 2 angels, in white sitting-the one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain.
The early morning sun penetrated the darkness of the tomb. She saw something no one had noticed before- an angel at the foot and the head where the body had been. It reminded her of the cherubims over the Ark of the Covenant. But just like when Isreal fell away and the flame of God departed, the only thing left was empty linens. This brought more tears.
And they say unto her “Woman? Why weepest thou?” And she saith unto them “Because they have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid Him.”
The angels asked “Why are you weeping?” Had Mary not been there when the angel met the ladies and declared “He is not here but is risen”? Looking back Mary was amazed at how easily she carried on a conversation with these heavenly messengers. Maybe she had a different perspective on spiritual beings. After all, her initial meeting with Jesus had been when He cast 7 spirits from her. She’d been dedicated ever since. In desperation she replied “They’ve taken away my Lord’s body, but to where?!”
And as she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing and knew not that it was Jesus.
Reality, grief, and raw emotion caused her to turn-alone in her sorrow. She became aware of someone else on the scene.
Jesus saith unto her “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seek thou?” She supposing him to be a gardener saith unto him, “Sir, if thou have born him hence, tell me where thou has laid him, and I will take him away.
Can you imagine the love and compassion that Jesus felt as He watched her struggle over His death? “Ma’am, Why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?” Mary-her eyes red and brimming with tears, thinks this must be a gardener and begs, “Please sir, if you know where the body of Jesus is, will you please tell me? I’d like to return it to it’s grave.” Logic seems to be waning. Mary is offering to move the body of a grown man-Not to mention the added weight of the spices they’d hurriedly added the evening they’d removed him from the cross.
Jesus saith unto her “Mary” She turneth herself and saith unto her “Rabboni” which is to say Master
One word “Mary” and her heart stood still. She knew that voice. Instant recognition-the chills run up her spine. Crushing sorrow turns to joy. “My Master” she breathed.
Jesus saith unto her “Touch me not for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father and your Father, My God and your God.
“Don’t cling to me. Things are different now. But go tell my brethren that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and He had spoken these things unto her.
So Mary went. Her message was different. She told everything that had happened-but most importantly- She had SEEN the Lord! And that makes all the difference.