The women have returned. They had gone to the tomb, and have returned wide-eyed, breathless, and spitting out that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive!
Could this be? We're all exhausted and we have all seen some odd stuff that isn't there because of a couple days with little or no sleep. Did they go to the right tomb in the dark? Was the gardener really Jesus, or is this simply wishful thinking? If it was Jesus, why didn't they recognize him right off?
With heads and eyes tired, their hearts now jump in their chests, their eyes become brighter, and they take a deep breath or two; they sit up straighter, trying to grasp the implications of what they're saying. And then they too go to the tomb - sprinting! Maybe more to verify that the women had actually been to the right place, and guardedly but hopefully excited as they remember some vague promise that he wouldn't be dead long.
The tomb is there alright and that rock is out of place. It might be too wonderful - or would it be soul crushing what they might find in there? If the women were right, they would be ecstatic; if they were wrong well, they'd just as soon not go through the last two days all over again.
They hesitate to catch their breath and then....go in.
What is this?! His body isn't here, what does this mean?
Angels speak and their apprehensions evaporate - He is risen! He is risen! HE IS RISEN!
They grasp their chests, their eyes brim with tears, they catch their breaths. Unbidden their arms move and shake; their legs begin to move on their own. Now, their entire bodies are fairly bouncing around!
The others, they have to tell the others!
Run! Back to the house!
Their message on their way back and after they gather the disciples together repeatedly is...
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
He is risen! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Oh how remarkable this is! It's funny, that they're not tired anymore. It's as if they have all the energy in the world. Almost as though they have been given new lives.
Praise God, Jesus is risen!
Your prayer for Easter morning:
Great is our God who announces the coming of Messiah by angels to Mary, to shepherds, and now to the disciples. God who raises the Son out of darkness and into light, so he can lead us out of darkness and into Light.
We thank you for your mercy and grace of giving us the hope of a risen Savior who leads us to you. Help us to see his life and death as our life and death. Lead us into your love and Life.
As you granted you power to raise Jesus, we ask that you extend to us that same power to raise us from our selfish lives into lives that seek to heal and soothe; lives that give grace and act in compassion; lives that seek to be you where we find ourselves.
Father today, we trust that you have noticed these past weeks of reflection, of review, of refocusing, of repentance. We have again stopped our lives for a time and admit that we had let them get away from you. We have determined to return our lives to you and your work. To live in the life that you offer, and in the transformation you promise our surrender.
Father today, accept our praise and rejoicing for this short space. We are embarassed by our doubts and our readiness to give up. Help us to draw on His resurrection for strength and willing acknowledement that you have called us to, and have given us Life with you and for you. Dispell our depressed thoughts and our fears. Pour into our hearts Light and Life, and use us to show others your love for them.
We praise you and we commit ourselves to living in your Life in the world you have created, and extending your love and care to that same world.
You are great; you are wonderful.
We give ourselves to you.