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On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
Readings: Acts 10:34, 37-43; Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6-8; Jn 20:1-9 or Lk 24:1-12
The scandal of the cross cuts deep.
Who is this God who comes among us and seems so weak? Surely, the Almighty is beyond this woeful human condition called death? Surely, any god worthy of the name, and who would be worthy of our worship, is not inclined to delve deep into our human hells; surely the cross and the tomb are the result of divine misadventure.
Alleluia is our song this day because we worship the God of Jesus Christ who has conquered every hell.
What is it that you are most afraid of?
Yourself? Others? Perdition? Addiction? Death? Faithless?
Look at the cross for there is your freedom from fear.
Every fear. Look again. This cross is empty.
There is no one there. Not Christ. Not you. Not me. Not those you love. Not your friends. Not your enemy. Our destructive fears are most dangerous because they are false. They are an illusion. What we fear most may well happen to us—but, in reality, they are not to be feared. This is the whole truth of the story of Easter:
We live our lives in desperate fear in one form or another but this kind of fear is only for those who have travelled as far as Good Friday and no further. We are an Easter People and here we are on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection pondering an empty cross and an empty tomb.
This Almighty God, who is worthy of our worship, is utterly fearless, even reckless, in the pursuit of human beings. There is no hell to which this God will not go to raise the human person into the Divine embrace of life and love. That is what we mean we speak of the scandal of the cross. God enters into our fears, our sins, our own death, to heal them from the inside. Resurrection is, in truth, the condition of hope which draws every human being beyond every clouded horizon which limits our view of the future. We are not made for death and destruction, nor for some slow fragmentation of the spirit.
We are made to be people who live in the hope and promise that even the most final of stones will be rolled away.
May every Easter joy and blessing be with you this Sunday and throughout the Easter season.