As I woke up this morning, I had a lot to look forward to. I had to bake my breakfast casserole so it was read for the Easter breakfast at church. I had to hide the eggs full of riddles that would lead Logan to a basket full of goodies. I had to get dressed in my "Sunday best" then head to church where we would worship with friends and family. I was hopeful.
Which made me think . . .
I thought how my excitement and hope sharply contrasted with the emotions of the disciples of Christ on the first Easter morning. They woke up feeling broken and sad. When I read Luke 23:56, I see one of the saddest sentences in the Bible, "On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." While there's nothing blatantly sad about this, I'm reminded of all the Sabbath "laws" (traditions) broken by Christ. The Pharisees were often attacking Christ for his actions on the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:1-14, John 5:1-18, John 7:21-24) The disciples had grown accustomed to worshiping by following and learning from "the Lord of the Sabbath." He had taught and challenged them. Shown them incredible things. Stood against the religious leaders of the day. But now . . . he was dead. What now? Back to the law? Back to following the Pharisees?
On Sunday morning, the women woke with heavy hearts. They gathered the spices they had prepared and left to go toward the tomb. The other disciples were hiding for fear of the religious leaders of the day. I don't know exactly what they were doing, but they woke up feeling defeated, afraid, and hopeless.
But then . . .
The women got to the tomb and Jesus was gone. Outside were angels who told them, ". . . He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." (Matthew 28:6) Confused and still lost, Mary left. I love the passage in John 20:14-16 which describes when Mary runs into Jesus but in her grieving and confused state she doesn't recognize him. He speaks. She still doesn't recognize him. Then he says her name, "Mary." Immediately, she knows. No one said her name like that. No one spoke with such love and understanding. No one knew her like that. "Mary." Oh, how her heart must have leapt.
As you go about the rest of this Easter day, remember the joy and hope that comes through Christ. Rejoice knowing that indeed Christ has risen. He has conquered death and removed its sting. Celebrating the Resurrection 2,000 some years later, it's easy to take that wild morning for granted or forget how amazed they were, but reflecting on their spirits before they knew always fills me with wonder and excitement for the Resurrection and the Savior.
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