“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here.  He is risen.”

These are the words that the women at the tomb encounter as they arrive at sunrise on that first Easter morning.  They have been through a lot in the last three days and are going to do the first “normal” thing that they actually have control over – preparing Jesus body with spices, treating him with the care and respect that he deserves.  

Then suddenly, the world as they understand it, shifts once again.  It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland falling into the rabbit hole.  Nothing is as it seems!  The stone has been rolled away.  The body is missing and instead two angels are present.  While this is ultimately good news, it is too startling and too much to comprehend in the moment.

How many times in this past 13 months have you felt like okay, I understand the “rules” of this new landscape, only to have it all turned upside down again?  It is too much for our brains to comprehend.  We, like the women at the tomb, are experiencing trauma and events outside of our control.

They were eye witnesses to both the cross and the empty tomb – stories that have been passed down to us over the generations.  Stories that form the core of our faith.  The ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  But the cross is not the end of the story.  It is the cross plus the empty tomb that provides the miracle of resurrection and new life.  That provides the promise of our life here on earth and our life with God.  In these challenging times, the miracle of that first Easter morning witnessed by these women is what provides us hope.  God is with us.  We live in mystery and cannot explain many things but this we know.

Alleluia!  Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed.