“Suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised…” Matt. 28:2,5-6a
Imagine how you would feel if you were one of those women that early Sunday morning. You have seen Jesus whipped, nailed to a cross, killed and stabbed in the side until his blood and water poured out. You were there to see him buried and sealed in a tomb. Now you are going to the graveyard in grief and mourning and suddenly an earthquake shakes the ground. Then an angel, bright as lightning in the early morning dawn, comes streaking down from heaven and rolls back the grave stone and sits on it and with a big smile says, “Don’t worry, Jesus is alive.” The grave is open and empty and an angel is talking with you about life after death. How would you feel? Scared, worried, terrified, excited, hopeful, angry, or would you be a combination of all these feelings. I am sure that mix of feeling is exactly what those first women went through that early Easter morning outside Jerusalem in the graveyard.
They went there to experience death and instead they found life. That is what Easter is all about. Where we think we know death, God gives life. When we go to a cemetery and expect sadness, God gives a ray of hope that shines in glory and testifies to Christ’s resurrection. The voice of that angel sitting on the stone gives us such joy, becuase he says, "He is not here, He is Risen!" Imagine going to a cemetery any where where you live and seeing an angel sitting on a headstone, swinging his feet and declaring, why are you looking for the living amongst the dead, he is not here, He is Risen!" What joy and celebration would we feel. May you experience that marvelous gift this Easter and always.
In the Peace and Grace of God,
Pastor Kirk Griffin