Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Sunday - The Emotions

Thoughts for Easter Sunday - THE EMOTIONS

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb (Mark 16:8). The authenticity of the gospels is palpable - there is no air-punching triumphalism, no joy or celebrations. This is real. No-one expected resurrection - this was emotional and intellectual overload. Everything assumed and expected was being turned on its head. We are so familiar with the ending to the story that we become blase about it - 2000yrs ago at dawn they were getting to grips with something staggering.

How do we feel confronted by the resurrection today? It's ok to be unsettled by it - it is a life changing proposition after-all. What matters is what we will do about it. Mark leaves his readers hanging concerning those first witnesses - what will they do? Will they believe, will they go, will they tell? Will we?

Easter Sunday - The Stone

Thoughts for Easter Sunday - THE STONE

The big concern for the little group of Jesus' female followers that first Easter Sunday was not resurrection or even religion - but the stone. That huge stone disc that sealed the entrance to the tomb. Such stones could take up to 20 people to shift once in place. Even so human nature in such situations is still to 'hope for the best' or to 'give it a go'.

But the stone was more than just a physical obstacle - it symbolised the immovable seal of death. Once a tomb is sealed or a grave covered - it is all over, there is nothing we can do about it - the life has gone. The stone is a powerful image of the final separation between the living and the death - and of our powerlessness to do anything about it.

But when they looked up, they saw the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away (Mark 16:4). Pause for a moment on these words - on a spring morning 2000 yrs ago - the grave became a two-way street.

The immovable and final seal of death had been rolled away. Death was no longer unchartered territory but had been exhausted and undone. He is risen.