Donald R. Elly, M. Div.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? ( Jesus) He is not here, but has risen…” With these words the women’s world is turned upside down and so is ours. I believe the women, as they prepare to go to the tomb were never looking for the living. Even though Jesus, is recorded in all the Gospels as saying that he would rise after three days, the women did not go to his tomb expecting to hear about, much less see a risen Lord. It is incomprehensible.
Jesus’ crucifixion is seen by them as a God-forsaken moment, though Jesus never let go of trust in God. When someone close to us is ill or facing death, the work that God might do is not visible to us. We, like the women, and all humans, are consumed by our grief and our loss. We stop thinking and many cases time stands still. The women are not looking for the living among the dead, but they come to the tomb to tend the dead.
Often times we talk of miracles at the time of a loved one’s illness and death. Though we hope for it, we don’t really expect it to happen. Perplexed is an understatement. “…Remember how Jesus told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Now, remembering does not automatically make the resurrection real. It takes many appearances of Jesus in unexpected circumstances and times to surrender to the power that Jesus offers us all through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ gift of breath and life—rooted in the reality of God’s gift of breath and life shared at creation comes only as we trust God to live in us. Will we take God up on the offer to live humbly, justly giving away the healing, peace and forgiveness that we have been given by God? The paradox of Easter celebrates the joy that God has always wanted to share with us. Where are you going to find the Jesus, the Risen Christ this Easter? The scriptural witness is clear: Among the living. For the rising of Christ brings the dead to life, and joy out of sorrow. May you be blessed with life this Easter of 2019!
April 21, 2019 Cycle C EASTER Sunday
Isaiah 65:17-25; Ps. 118:1-2,14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26 *Luke 24:1-12