The women were up early. Had they even slept?
They carried all the necessary ingredients; spices, oils, linen; everything needed to anoint the three-day-dead body of Jesus. I can only imagine their silent laments and worries as they walked to the tomb: Why didn’t I do more while I had the chance?
I should have done things differently. I can’t believe this is how it really ends. My strength has left me. My joy is no more. I am overcome and undone. Who will roll away the stone?
It’s likely that you were also up early this morning. Did you even sleep? What were your griefs and fears as you made your preparations and began to walk towards the tomb?
I’ll never see him smile at me again. I’ll never hear him say my name. Will I ever be able to forget the image of him in so much agony? Could I have done anything else to save him? Dread consumes me and my hope is gone. Who will roll away the stone?
What do you think waits for you at the tomb? A dead marriage that once was alive and brimming with promise? The corpse of a family that couldn’t survive the accusations, betrayal and denial? An innocent body – abused and shamed – left for dead by those in authority? A once hopeful future, now crushed under the dreadful sins of all the world?
Even so, we get up, set our anxious faces towards the tomb, and walk on to Jesus.
Who will roll away the stone so that we can see his body?
“But when they looked up, the saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away….”
Who makes the blind to see?
“As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.”
Who makes the lame to walk?
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said.
Who sets the captives free?
“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He is not here.”
Who brings the dead to life?
He is risen!”
Who will bring you back to life, even as you stand in the tomb?
“But go, tell his disciples and Peter: ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.'”
What? He is ahead of us! He is already working, and moving, and making things new?
“There you will see him (hear him, touch him, and see him smile) just as he told you.”
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice. (John 5:28)
Peace to you as you stand with the women in the mouth of the tomb and take it all in.
Peace to you as you go with them to look for Jesus who is already ahead of you. He is not far. You will hear him call your name soon.
And peace to you and yours – because only he can roll away the stone.
Because he lives,