Sure, Jesus said things about being raised on the third day, but no one really understood him at the time. After all, talking about resurrection at the end of history is one thing, but resurrection actually happening now? That’s a whole other ball game.
Indeed, the whole point of the resurrection is that Jesus is no longer there; the line wrappings are, but the body is gone (John 20:6-7). And it is a difficult event to digest.
Even on that first Easter morning, there are three different responses to Jesus’ resurrection: first, there is the response of Peter, who runs to the cave and looks in, only then to go back home, as if nothing had happened (John 20:10); and then, there is the Beloved Disciple who also runs to the cave; but unlike Peter, he doesn’t go in, but he does see and that’s enough for him to believe (John 20:8); and lastly, there is Mary who stands by the tomb distraught, weeping; she doesn’t know what to do (John 20:11).
But it is also Mary who, after the other disciples had left, begins a conversation with two angels and with One she thinks is the gardener (John 20:12-14). In time, she realizes that it is Jesus who is before her (John 20:18).
Talk about a surprise! Talk about something mind-boggling! Jesus is shattering the old ways of seeing the world and Mary is caught up in new life!
How is Christ calling us to live in a new world of hope? How is Christ calling us out of the closed tombs of our self-centeredness and into the kingdom of light? What is the good news of new life to you on Easter?
Pastor Andy Kinsey