Empty the eery feeling of Easter Sunday’s first dawn.
The shadowy pause of Saturday’s sabbath, the space to doubt, and a time to mourn.
For Jesus’ disciples who deserted him, they’d cast all their hopes on this Nazarene.
Now their messianic dreams—of forgiveness, freedom, a future—buried by Rome’s war machine.
Still at first light some journeyed, a stalwart few women, come to anoint Jesus’ body in the tomb.
Only to find Joseph’s grave empty, and Rome’s sentry scattered, I wonder, what might they naturally assume?
Foul play? Conspiracy?
But that is not this story, Easter unearthed as mischief, no an angel appeared with a creed.
Jesus is risen, now go tell the apostles, it’s good time friends were brought up to speed.
But who will believe them, the claims of these women? In the gospels does their story survive.
What really happened in that garden on that first Easter Sunday? Could it be? Is Jesus alive?
But surely dead people stay dead? We say in our scepticism, decaying gravestones telling the story;
Of countless lives once lived between the dates, now gone, only epithets to remember their glory.
But that graves with no vacancy is nature’s normal, that’s no nail in the coffin of this miracle;
No it’s entirely necessary, the backdrop of regularity, just to spot something special as God’s oracle.
What’s the message?
Easter is revelation, God raised Jesus from the dead, Heaven’s rubber stamp on his messianic claim;
Demoting death to a comma in the sentence of reality. For eternal life? There is no other name.
Jesus is the last man standing, where all else have fallen, promising life to all who believe,
Igniting this hope of resurrection, of a world beyond decay, and a new body that we can receive.
Death need not be permanent, our loved ones planted not gone, a grief observed being robbed of its sting.
These graves becoming gardens, seeds planted in hope, immortal beauty to burst forth like our King.
But what’s the evidence, you ask, that Easter’s mystery is a miracle? Can all the sad things really come untrue?
Isn’t Easter just a legend, a myth for young minds, a crutch to help us come through?
No, Jesus’ rising is good news, not a fantasy, its born out in reality, there’s a footprint for all to see.
No other story can make sense of the data; there is a resurrection shaped hole at the centre of history.
From a blood stained cross to an empty tomb, and a metamorphosis in Jewish convictions;
Credible witnesses claim they saw Jesus alive, willing to pay with their own afflictions.
No the case stacks up, and the truth invites questioning, you are welcome to wrestle with doubt.
But the transformed disciples, and the birth of the church, only Christ’s resurrection could ever bring about.
Jesus is alive, death is conquered, and at his coming all these graves will be gone;
For into the lungs of our weary world, Jesus’ resurrection breathes hope, of a new creation not set to dawn.