Well, it's Easter. The day when countless Christians celebrate the empty tomb of Jesus. It must have been quite an event for those alive at the time. For about 3 years Jesus had been teaching and healing. He had proclaimed the inauguration of the kingdom of God. He was the hope of Israel to free them from Roman domination and establish Israel as the jewel of God in the world. After all, look at the power with which he spoke and performed miracles. He had to be the Messiah of God. But, that last week was strange. Jesus began to act in counterproductive ways. He trashed the temple court. He said some things to the 'powers that be' that seemed to insult them. In fact, he seemed to be pushing against the very people who should have been allies. Rome was the enemy, not the Temple.
Then, it ended. Jesus had tweeked the nose of the wrong person and wound up hanging on a tree. All of the hopes and desires of these past few years...gone, dashed, dead. From Friday evening through Saturday I can imagine the followers of Christ trying to reassess their options. They had given up so much to follow and support Jesus. Now, they had to figure out how to return to their previous lives and explain to their families and friends that they had really messed up. Humiliation on top of humiliation. How could they have been so wrong.
But then, a report from some women. The tomb was empty. Something, no one knew exactly what, had happened to Jesus' body. One of them said that someone, maybe an angel(?), had said that Jesus was risen. Talk about confusion and conflicting emotions! Just take a few moments to reflect on the internal reaction of these people. From triumph to defeat to tentative hope. Could it be true?
We know that it was. Jesus left the tomb; the realm of the dead. He appeared to many and, ultimately, entered into heaven where he sat down at the right hand of Yahweh. It's this that gives the cosmos hope. Not just humans, but all of God's good creation. During this time, the celebration of new life, may God Bless You Real Good.