“This is the feast of Victory for our God"
The women receive the miraculous news at the tomb. “He is not here!” This is the news of an event that has been proclaimed through 80 generations of Christians. “He is not here!” This is the first telling of the central truth of our lives: that Jesus was resurrected and that by his resurrection, we will be raised up at the last day.
We Christians are the people of the Resurrection, the people of Easter. Every Sunday we celebrate of the resurrection; each time one of us dies, for Christian burial, we take out the white linen to proclaim the resurrection. We Christians have good news and it is too good not to be told repeatedly and over again, each Sunday, each Easter. Each day of God’s week, I want us to be people of the resurrection to proclaim the resurrection and the truth in our own lives.
When I say we have good news, I mean those two thousand or so years ago, God sent his son, Jesus Christ to earth to redeem his creation. God had nurtured and chastened his chosen people, the Hebrews, since he first made a covenant with them. The Bible records this in Genesis. God’s saving acts with the Hebrews are seen across the span of over a couple thousand years, then, in what we call the Old Testament.
In order to fulfill his scripture, the true word of God in the Bible, God sent his only son to earth. This son, Jesus, took on our nature--he was both a human being and yet God’s son. He lived among us, yet did not sin. Truly, humiliatingly, shamefully having died as a man and Son of God that he was, Jesus was laid in a tomb. He was not whisked off the cross into heaven. His body was not stolen from the tomb. The Son of God died on a cross and was laid in a tomb. Saint Gregory wrote, “Christ went down into the deepest abysses...when he went into the lowest Hell to fetch forth the souls of his elect. Before this,” Gregory wrote, “this depth was a prison, not a way...But God made of this abyss a road.”
Our Good News is just that startling, even if we have known the happy ending since childhood. We call it Easter. This Happy Resurrection morning I have three prayerful exhortations for you as you come to the Blessed Sacrament: Believe in this Good News. Spread the glad tidings of the resurrection. Await Jesus’ coming in glory.
The Rev. William H. Marchl, III, Priest Associate, St. Andrew's Church