"You changed my sorrow into dancing…" Psalm 30:11a (NCV)
"Go away, Mary," I said.
"Hurry," she insisted, tossing my sandals at my feet, "We must take the spices and anoint the body of our Lord."
We stepped out on the street just as the sun was rising. The air hung heavy about us, stifling and still. As the sunlight began to steal across the city, I thought how pointless it was. Why should the sun ever shine again?
Our hope had been crucified; our Beloved, beaten and scorned had hung on a cross as we watched Him draw a last ragged breath. Even the heavens had convulsed in horror of His death.
Mary nudged me onward toward the cave belonging to Joseph, the one where they had placed Jesus just before the Sabbath had begun.
Salome had been quiet until now.
"How will we roll the stone away?" she asked as we neared the place.
We stared at each other, realizing that the three of us together could not budge the boulder covering the opening of the grave.
"We will a find a way," Mary' said, pushing steadily forward.
As we neared the grave, the ground began to shake. Terrified, I clutched Mary for support, and then reached for Salome, who was nearly thrown to the ground. It was over quickly, but fear would not leave my heart. The earth had quaked like this immediately after Jesus had died, the skies had turned black as a terrible thunder roll across the heavens. Was the world coming to an end? It may as well; there was nothing to live for any longer.
Mary set her jaw the way she often did when she had made up her mind to do something, "Keep moving - we must anoint His body, " she said.
We hurried to keep up with her, but she suddenly stopped and I ran right into her.
"Look," she said, pointing at two Roman guards lying on the ground.
"Are they dead?" Salome asked, but Mary did not answer. She had turned and was staring at the grave.
I followed her gaze to see that the stone had been rolled away.
My heart pounded violently in my chest as I pushed past Mary and ran to the tomb.
"He's gone," I said when Salome and Mary clamored in behind me. Suddenly a light so bright that we had to shield our eyes filled the cave and a voice said, "Don't be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who has been crucified. He is not here. He has risen from the dead as He said He would."
I looked toward the place where Jesus had lain and saw a being I can barely describe.
"Come," he continued, "and see the place where His body was. And go quickly and tell His followers that Jesus has risen from the dead. He is going into Galilee ahead of you, and you will see Him there." The light faded and he was gone.
We stood, trembling and numb from fear. Had we seen an angel? Could it be that Christ was alive? My heart leapt for joy as a vague memory of Jesus ' words came to mind...the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
"He's alive!" The realization sent shivers down my spine. "He's alive, risen from the dead, just as He said He would. I clutched at Mary's arm, "He's alive, Mary - He's alive!"
We rushed to tell the others, tripping over our garments as we ran, laughing and shouting from that place.
Jesus was alive!
In the days that followed, our Lord showed Himself to many of us and we rejoiced at every moment spent with Him until one day He bid us farewell and promised to come again to take us to be with Him forever. As we stood, watching Him ascend into the skies, my heart sang, for I knew this was not a parting. Even as I watched Him go, I could feel His presence filling my very soul. I would never be without Him, and someday, He would take me to be with Him for all eternity.
Jesus is alive!
This story is part of an Easter/Ressurection themed blog chain. Below are links to other bloggers who posted on this theme. I invite you to visit each blog and enjoy reading about Easter & the Resurection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Comments are welcome. Have a blessed Easter!
(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)