It's Monday. But let's not forget, even today, what we so exuberantly celebrated on Sunday.
As we drove to the church yesterday, colors were a bit more vibrant - the grass greener, the sky bluer. Everything seemed to be teeming with livelihood as we headed to celebrate the cornerstone of our faith: resurrection.
And how absurd it sounds - worshiping a man who was flogged, hung, and left for dead. They rid him of life, and ashamed, buried him, so that they might forget. So that they might hide the man who had duped them. "The Anointed One?" they thought silently to themselves as they trudged along the road, away from the scene: "What a joke. How did I ever fall for that one?"
Sullen and stricken, those left alive endured the pain of their souls crucified. Not for resurrection - that would be absurd. Instead, they waited, hopelessly. To be let down from their tree. To be released from their stripes. For the pain to subside. For the hurting to heal. For the brokenness to be mended. But by what? Their only hope was dead.
But then, something happened. There weren't any trumpets. No grandstanding angels to announce the incredulous. Simply a stone rolled away and some linens neatly folded. A man, who by all appearances seemed to be a gardener, waiting outside. And as they visited his grave, they faced their biggest fear: that this was the end. That their lives with him were over. And that they, most likely, would be next.
Little did they know, their day would only get worse. They arrive to grieve, to commemorate, to remember. And who among us has never celebrated a life passed, even through our tears? But to arrive to the grave of our beloved, only to find it vandalized and the body removed - life would be kicking us while we're down. And how unfair it is, really. As if God exists. The least he could do is preserve the body, since apparently he's unable to retain the soul.
At least the gardener is kind, though. His voice is soothing - familiar, even. Maybe he whispers a genuine, "I'm sorry," with a sly grin on his face. He comforts their hearts, as he's done all along. He stills their souls, if only for a second.
And then... oh, then. Then, for a glorious moment, they look up. They catch his eye. And his grin - that all too familiar grin. Of course, this is death toying with them. His body is stolen, his soul departed. "We're seeing what we want to see," they think as they look down again to the empty tomb.
Until suddenly, it dawns on them. And the color of the morning comes rushing in as they look up at the man, flabbergasted. Their minds race while their hearts stop. The gardener, who has been there all along, whispers, "Mary," and she knows. She runs to him, arms open wide, weeping with every last bit of breath within her. As she gasps for air through her sobs, words escape her.
And just like old times, in storms of yesteryear, he whispers, "Have peace and be still, my friends," as the tempest of death subsides and the rushing wind of love floods their souls.
... ... ...
Questions: How did you celebrate Easter this weekend? And if you believe in Jesus' resurrection, how do you plan on continuing to celebrate this week?
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image credit - osmar01, sxc.hu