Easter Sunday, the story of the resurrection of Jesus is in the Gospel of John 20: 1 – 9.
The story gives some interesting ideas about the first Easter. The first person coming to the tomb is who? Mary of Magdala. Why? She saw Jesus die on the cross. She saw the men take his body down from the cross. She saw them wrap the body in a white cloth. She saw them carry the body and put the body in a tomb near-by. She saw the big rock rolled to lock the tomb. She thought it was the wrong way to bury the body. They needed to clean the body and use special spices for the correct burial. All Saturday she was crying with the mother of Jesus and the other women; their hearts were broken; their hopes gone; inside they felt dead. Saturday night Mary could not sleep. Sunday morning very early she comes to the tomb, still crying, her heart broken, confused.
It is dark, an important word, “dark”; it means her heart is dark; she does not understand, does not believe about Jesus rising to new glorious life. She comes, looks, and she is shocked. The big rock is rolled away. What happened? She does not know. She runs to tell the leaders. She tells Peter and the disciple, the follower, Jesus loves. We know Peter. The disciple Jesus loves, who is he? In the gospel he never has a name because the disciple Jesus loves means every person Jesus loves. You and I are the disciple Jesus loves. The disciple (you) was near the cross, saw Jesus die, accepted Jesus’s mother into his care, saw where they buried the body. His heart (your heart) was broken, confused, lost, with no hope, in darkness.
Then this woman, very upset, comes and tells them something amazing. The tomb is open; the body is gone. Peter and the disciple (you) run to the tomb. The disciple (you) is younger and runs faster. He (you) looks and sees the woman is right. The tomb is open. He (you) looks in and sees nothing, no body! But the white cloths lie there, folded nicely. He (you) respects Peter the leader and waits for him to come. Waiting, the disciple (you) begins to remember: yes, Jesus said he was going to suffer, die, then rise and live again. The disciple (you) begins to understand Jesus is not dead; Jesus’s words are true. Jesus is alive!
Peter comes, looks, goes into the tomb, comes out confused. He does not understand what happened. But the other disciple (you) begins to understand and believes the words of Jesus are true. Jesus is risen to new life, to new glorious life!
The story of Easter tells us that now everything is different. Yes, Jesus truly died on Friday. But he is not dead now. He is alive, fully alive, gloriously alive!
“Gloriously alive” means Jesus is not limited to one small country; he is in all countries. Jesus is not limited to a time 2000 years ago; he is with us all the time. He is not limited to one language; he knows all languages; he knows all minds; he knows all hearts. He is not limited to a small group of followers and friends; he is with us all always.