Easter is a remembrance of something so big, so deep, so important, and so unbelievably awesome that it is impossible for anyone to really wrap their brains around the true meaning and implications of what happened on that day nearly two thousand years ago. We fill that day with celebrations, feasts, prayers, and liturgy, and rightly so; but in the midst of the noise and busy-ness and sometimes frantic activity, do we sometimes lose touch with what actually happened? Can we take some quiet time on this most blessed of days to reflect on what occurred that day, and what it means to us now?
Consider that cemetery just outside Jerusalem on a Sunday afternoon long ago, after the earthquake and angels, the fleeing guards, and confused women. Here, a burial place sits abandoned. The purpose of a tomb is to secure the dead, and this particular grave did that job for three days. Yet, now it is empty. Never again will it serve the purpose for which it was created; God’s plan for that sepulcher changed the very meaning of its purpose and existence. And I reflect on my own goals, the meaning that I see in my life: are those goals man-made, or do I let God radically change my purpose to meet his sacred plans?
Inside this vault of stone, burial garments lay neatly folded. There is no smell of death or decay. Here, the mission of the Christ came to its crowning moment; here Jesus made all things new. As we consider this place, this tomb where it happened, where God changed the world in a unique, incomprehensible way; as we look out into a world still plagued by disease, war, and discord, can we see this new world Jesus brought into being? Can the empty tomb change how we look on these evils, how we face death, how we handle our encounters with those who seem to oppose the gospel message of Christ, His message of continual repentance, of radical availability, of reckless love?
Amongst the tumult of continuous app notifications, of screaming politicians, of clickbait websites and angry headlines, perhaps retreating to a place “as quiet as a tomb” needs to become an indispensable part of our day; and what better place than this, this particular tomb in which, on a Sunday nearly 2000 years ago, the only begotten Son of God rose from the dead and bridged the abyss between God and man.
– Bill Merlock