On Easter the power of the Gospel was unleashed. It is now our Gospel.
New Revised Standard translation
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 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 any one, for they were afraid.
Mark 16:1-8, retold by Deborah
the uneven path
a dusty maze
leading to the grave;
it had been
a bad dream;
into the darkness,
the awful reality;
a great light,
great good news;
the glorious Truth
leading to abundant life.
From the beginning Christianity required an act of faith. Those early believers had no proof for their claims. The women ran to share the Good News with only the evidence of an empty tomb. They had nothing to show for their claims.
Yet the faith continued to spread, without documentation, despite having no throne or royal robes, no temple or palace to visit and no relics to venerate: nothing. As far as “holy sites” — there were hundreds spread all across the land of Palestine: traces of Jesus’ ministry were everywhere, but nowhere in particular.
Instead, the proof was in the lives of believers.
Jesus did not rest during his time on earth (Lk 9:58, Mt 8:20), but kept on the move. He showed no favoritism toward place or persons, preaching in synagogues and in the open air, traveling to Gentile towns and Samaritan villages, healing lepers and hemorrhaging women and Roman legionnaires. No one location was any more “special” than any other. No single group got preferential treatment.
And that is an important aspect of the Lord’s Message.
That Which Is the embodied Love of God cannot be pinned down. It will not be pinned down (Jn 3:8). It will be present wherever healing, compassion, and mercy are present.
Supposing Him to be the gardener, Mary Magdalene said to Jesus, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
~ John 20:15
Desperately missing her beloved Teacher, Mary Magdalene pleaded for a tangible aspect of him to cling to. But that was not to be.
Jesus was not to be found in a grave, nor even within the confines of the Lord’s human body. He would no longer be as He was — but neither would his followers.
Love had burst the bounds. On Easter morning the power of the Spirit was unleashed. As was intended from the first, the Message of God’s gracious, unending love and mercy became not merely “Jesus’ Gospel,” but our Gospel.
Glorious Easter blessings,