He Is Alive! (John 20 & Luke 24)
Early Easter Morning, Mary Magdalene wept with Dread the Darkened path to Jesus’ tomb. When she found the tomb empty, she wept even more bitterly. The two angels, in his grave, hear her cry and ask, “Woman, why are you weeping so?”
She was weeping because her Source of Hope, her Reason to Live, was gone from her life. Now, his body was taken as well, and she could not even say good bye. She could not touch him one last time.
When Jesus then appears, disguised in his Risen Body, Mary is still weeping. Her inconsolable tears only cease when he opens her eyes to Truth, to Reality Transformed, to Life Made New.
Her response was to cling to the feet of her Lord. She could not bear to be separate from him again. His request of her was to let loose her embrace, to take breath of his comfort. For she must now, be Witness to Truth -she must go and tell the bothers: Our Savior Lives! He is Alive in the Love of our Father!
Not far away, two other disciples of Jesus are on the road to Emmaus. Though the Son is now Risen, their path, like Mary’s, is Darkened by Death. They walked this road many times before, yet they are lost. They are desperate to find their way -in a world bereft of its Messiah.
They were struggling to grasp the Times Gone Mad; how their own leaders had him crucified; how his brother betrayed him; how the Man, who could command the sea to be still, offered no resistance to the Evil scheme of little men.
Jesus Disguised, disperses their Easter Morning Cloud. He joins their journey. He unlocks their Hope. With his Ancient Word, so long hidden, he makes sense of Evil and Affliction; of Men Gone Bad; of the Suffering Servant and the Lamb of God. The hard miles they shared were dissolved by Truth. The hours were but minutes, their tears but a ghost.
Like Mary before, they clung to his Presence -as he made to go on. He opened their eyes with Living Bread broken, with Truth Revealed -his Word made Flesh. Though vanished in sight, he left their hearts afire –driving them back into the night, to retrace the hard day’s walk. For they must now too, be Witness to Truth, to the share the Good News: Our Savior Lives! We are not alone! He walks with us. All things are made new!
My Jesus, as Peter said on the mountain top -in the Glory of your Transfigured Presence- “Lord, it is good to be here with you!” And like Peter, I too want to set up tents. Like Mary, and like the two disciples, I want to stay forever in the Resplendence of your Resurrection Power.
I have tasted Easter’s Victory. But its Morning Light makes it clear to see: You have plans for me -to be your Witness. I must follow you back down -into the throes of life. I must let go of your feet. I must be content to have Supped upon your Flesh.
Holy Spirit, your beckon is Eternal. Where you are leading, and what you would have me do, is yet in focus. But I know the end of the Story. I have heard your Victory sound. Sin and Death are defeated. New Life is your Gift for all to Receive –to take into the world, that all may be Free.Father, in your Mercy, you have snatched me from Death. By the Power of your Holy Spirit, through the Name of Jesus your Son, may my life be a Witness to your Truth, your Hope and your Love. In all things, may I exclaim, “It is not I who lives, but my Risen Lord, who is Alive in me!”