The resurrection was unexpected. That’s why there was no official delegation of disciples on hand to greet Jesus. No receiving line. No spruced up little girls in Easter hats holding bouquets. The women came to the tomb alone and in the dark, expecting to find a deat body. (excerpt from “The Unexpected Easter” by James Kay)
Whether it was for lack of hope, or because Jesus’ followers truly didn’t believe him when he spoke, the women come to the tomb in the midst of mind-numbing grief. How did it come to this? Why did I allow myself to hope, to get so close to him? Mary’s agony is heard in her cry: “They have taken my Lord and I don’t know where!”
How unbelievable it was as Jesus revealed himself, first to the women, then to the disciples. Little by little, resurrection became real to them in a powerfully tranformative way. IN fact, they were so transformed by the joy they felt, so invigorated and renewed by their experience of the resurrection that they began a movement that brought radical transformation to the lives of everyone who heard them tell about it.
For those long ago disciples, resurrection was not some kind of final proof, it wasn’t an intellectual pursuit, a position paper they could show their friends. It was a breathtakingly spelndid event which changed grief into joy, rebuilt their shattered hearts and saturated their lives with hope. Resurrection was a clear sign to them that God was not done with their world.
How our world needs to hear that good news! These days, we find ourselves in the midst of overwhelming grief, a time when violence continues to threaten, when poverty and oppression seem to be the norm, when pain and suffering seem endless and intolerance is the preferred way of living. It is in this time that we are called to live as we believe – to speak God’s transforming word of hope. Death is not the last word. Wherever people are struggling, wherever people are in pain, wherever fear is holding the children of God hostage, we can bring God’s transforming word of resurrection hope – the good news that God is not yet finished with us and with this world.
He is Risen Indeed!