When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
When people remake an old classic movie they like to tell the same story but in a new and invigorating way. In Church we have this wonderful old story that has addressed the world through many a trying time, and who would argue that ours is not a trying time, and yet still it remains relevant for us. All week during our reflections I have made reference to how different this year is from any other we have experienced. I think this morning it would be good for us to simply revisit this wonderful moment and see it for what it was and is.
We all know the Easter story so well, it is so much more than just an account of events.
It contains essential elements of the gospel and of our faith. Christ’s resurrection continues the pattern of his ministry as He keeps faith with those on the fringes. Women who lived on the fringes, without recognition and few rights, it is they that are chosen by God to make the discovery that the tomb is empty. They are the ones, chosen by God, to be first to receive the Good News and they are the ones chosen by God to ensure that the story got out. Those on the margins may change identity over the years but the status remains.
The women at the tomb are told you will not find him Jesus in the darkness of the tomb
but in Galilee, this is where they live and work. The journey and adventure of faith has begun. If we wish to find the risen Christ we too have to embark upon a journey, not among the dead things of the past, but where we live and work, the Risen Christ is in the world where the disciples are. They will find him in their Galilee, in their homes and their places of work. This Galilean destination can have any geographical destination title you wish.
We may find our Galilee in Musselburgh, Fisherrow or Inveresk, in Haddington or Tranent.
In any town of any land across the world we will be where we will be and this is where we will find the Risen Jesus. We have to move forward to find him.
Easter is not an historical event to look back on as much as it is a living experience for today. He is risen not just for the few but for all.
Because of the Resurrection, the disciples were changed.
Because of the Resurrection, our view of death has changed.
Because of the resurrection, our view of Jesus has changed.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
What matters more is not that Christ had risen but that Christ is risen.
Easter morning says to us that through the resurrected Christ there is nothing that we should fear.
Easter morning says to us that through the resurrected Christ there is no need to search for words, Christ has had the final say.
Easter morning says to us that through the resurrected Christ we are never alone for he is risen and leads us on the way even in our confusion and doubt.
He is there with us.
This Easter Morning we witness once more that new light.
Christ the risen Saviour is the Light of the world.