When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Mark 16:1-8
Christianity is about the resurrection. The tomb is empty, and Jesus was seen alive. We are Christians because Jesus rose from the dead. Run and proclaim that Jesus Christ is risen!
Throughout history, we have attempted to become enlightened. However, the resurrection of Jesus Christ should terrify, humble, astound, and inspire. It turns our feeble pursuits at explanation upside down. Visualize Mary and Mary Magdalene standing at the empty tomb as they touch, hear and see. Witness their unfolding realization that Jesus IS risen. Behold the young man telling them to go and they will “see Him.” The women realize that this was not something that might have happened or an erroneous comforting story. This event eclipsed the premise of a warm spiritual feeling, a good story, or the hope that the cause would continue.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary run in panic because Jesus Christ overcame death and the grave. They are filled with amazement, since we have a new life that is beyond comprehension. Easter is terrifying, in that we are no longer apart from God. We are in a relationship with God through the Son. We have life in Him and then, there is eternal life after life after death. It is a life that we have never seen or encountered before the resurrection of Jesus. It should render our lives transformed. The resurrection is shocking. In the words of Paul, we will appear with Him in all His glory (Col 3:1-4).
This truth should cause us to risk everything. I share this quote by Oswald Chambers: “When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life. I would know Him in ‘the power of His resurrection.’”
Have no fear, for Jesus Christ is not laying in the darkness; Jesus Christ is risen. It is real, is it visible, and we must go and follow Him.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez
XVI Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania
O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you conquered sin, put death to flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears, make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last great Day; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.