It was Monday morning (well, technically, Sunday, but to a Jew in Jesus’ day I assume Sunday was Monday!). The Sabbath was over. The women who had followed and supported Jesus through three years of ministry wanted to ensure that the burial preparations which had been given short-shrift on Friday were now attended to. It was an act of generosity….of compassion….and mostly of love.
From time to time I try to put myself in the sandals of these women…but I can’t. I can’t possibly not know what I’ve been hearing all my life.
Or maybe, in a way, I can. Think of a loved one from whom you are now separated by death. I think of my Dad. If someone suggested he’d come back and could be found out in the garden I’d consider it a cruel joke. We buried him….he’s gone.
Sometimes Christians fall prey to the temptation to explain the resurrection.
I’d suggest we stay away from that place. The resurrection doesn’t make any (rational) sense – that’s probably why it’s had two millennia of staying power! It’s not easy to believe. Heck…it may be impossible to believe.
But somewhere deep in my heart the story resonates with power and transforming vitality. I can bear witness to the difference it’s made and still makes in my life. I’ve no way to know how my life would be different if I didn’t know and embrace this story, but the fact that I do makes me grateful and gives me hope. Maybe it does something similar for you?
So….come Sunday morning, please don’t explain the story….proclaim it!!! Announce with amazement and wonder, “He is not here. He is…..risen!!
He is risen, indeed!
With Great Hope,
Iowa Conference Minister