The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
The irony is not lost on me that as we celebrate Easter Sunday this year it will also be April Fools Day. I have been a part of various discussions among clergy and laity whether or not the two events should be combined or if doing so somehow sullies the importance of the day. I don’t have strong feelings either way, but as I have taken part in those discussions in the past couple weeks my thoughts turned to that first Easter morning.
As those women went out to the tomb where Jesus was laid they were fully expecting it to be nothing more than a visit. A time to mourn, a time to reflect, a time to pay their respects to the man who had done so much in their lives. But as they arrived at that tomb they had their first shock…the stone had been rolled away. While this was unexpected they went into the tomb only to receive an even bigger shock…the body was gone! Was this some kind of joke? A sick and cruel prank by the Romans? An attempt to further discredit Jesus? I’m sure their minds were reeling as they struggled to understand what was going on.
But then finally clarity arrives. The angels appear and offer the absolute best case scenario for this confusing scene the women have stumbled upon…”Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” I can only imagine the wave of joy that swept over those women in that moment. The realization that their friend, their teacher, their Lord was not dead, he was not laying in a tomb but instead he is alive again.
I hope and pray that all of us can experience a little of that joy for ourselves this Easter Sunday. That we too can remember we do not look among the dead for our Lord because no fooling, He is ALIVE.
To see the complete April newsletter, click here: April 2018