light in the deepest darkness


It seems hard to imagine that the response that first Easter was not, He is risen indeed, Alleluia! But - "what rot woman, you're light headed from the shock !"
Three women went to the tomb first. These were the women who had been there with him. That had taken intense love and dedication. Love so deep that I doubt if they thought twice about what they were doing and what could happen to them. Who knows what they felt all through that ghastly Saturday ? I suspect the women of mining communities might, when they hear the siren that says there has been an accident in the mines. Those of us who have ever sat all night in the kitchen waiting for news of someone we love and can't be with.
Frankly if these women tell me they've seen an angel, I'm going to believe them. They're the ones after all who told us He was dead, and if anyone had hope that he'ld survive and that there would be some way, however frail, for this death and suffering to be not true, it would have been them. They'ld have seen and reported that too.
They're the practical types. Going to lay out the body properly. Their minds are on practical things, like how to get into the tomb, and who is to carry what.
When you see strong women, who've stood by someone they love, watched him bleed, half skinned. They had stood with him among the rough talking professionals who dish out torture for a living. So when these women come running weeping, yelling, screaming that Jesus is alive, I've just got to believe them.

I love this next part of the story. Where John runs off full belt to the tomb, with Peter surging after him, and Mary turns tail and runs back with them ! Obviously John gets there first, he knows after all, exactly where to go. But the sight of the rock rolled back must have hit him hard.
The awe of the moment. And all three of them, bending down, see the grave clothes.

The men are soon on their way back to share the good news. Doubtless their heads were whirling. I keep imagining what it must have been to live through this. I suspect that they walked back. Thinking, repeating what they said to each other. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't say the same words over and over.
"And where were the soldiers I have to ask myself ?" "And did you see ?" "I saw .. I saw.."

But Mary wanted to stay behind, by herself. I don't think any of them were sure, or perhaps even wanted to be sure. There is something unbelievable about seeing - say, a horrific injury, people want to stare and stare. It is the same when you see something crooked going straight under your eyes, as you watch. One feels awe, wonder, yes, both those things, but also sick to the stomach. One repeats the known facts over and over to oneself. Mostly one doesn't see them - they happen quietly, in secret. But when they are unavoidable we have to admit to ourselves a lot of things it would be easier to ignore.

Anyway, of them all, Mary simply stayed. As close as she could to the mystery. She was ready to entertain 'reasonable' explanations, it seems, but was longing, I think, simply to be near him. You know the story.

As always He comes to those who stay put, sit still and listen. They may not be the quickest to grasp things - they may not be the first to bring the evangelion, or the first to understand and explain - but they have a very special gift. His loving presence. As it is, it is this dearly loved woman - who has being constantly involved from the Sunday before till now, whose presence is noticed on every day - in some way or another - by the gospel writers, who has suffered from Friday to Sunday - who has woken prepared to help lay him out, found him gone, seen an angel, and made two long runs on the same morning: it is to her that is given the gift to be the first to know. The first to sit still long enough to see him, to touch him, and to hear his voice.


Mary Magdalene meets Jesus courtesy http://comeandseeicons.com/
she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her,
She turned herself, and saith unto him,
which is to say, My Master.

The Ascension
To the Site Map
The Tomb