Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20:1 (NIV)
The historical ceremony is coming to a close. Passover has been celebrated as it has down through the centuries. The day of preparation where blood is shed to mark the people who choose God, is marked now by the crucifixion of Jesus. The solemn day of Passover gives way to darkness again. Disciples and followers of Christ spend time weeping over the separation from their Master. But on the first day of the week, while it is still dark, an empty tomb is found. The stone has been rolled away. Christ is not in the grave! He is freed from death! Nobody completely understands it! It is a mystery of God! But it is marvelous and surprising! What can this mean? Is it time to get excited?
Perhaps we today are living through a similar time. An age of going through rituals in the hopes of showing where we stand with God sets with the sun. The allotted days go by. What was known in only theory or in ceremonies can now dawn within people´s hearts. We can wake up to new times. It may still be dark out. But someone might be checking the tomb. They go to look for a dead Teacher. But what we find might surprise and heal us all! If we expect to find Jesus all tucked away nicely within fine wrappings or sealed up in our constructions of stone, we might just find that the tomb where they tried to keep Him is empty. We no longer need to look for Jesus amongst the dead! We don´t have to dig around in the dust and ashes. Jesus is moving! He is alive! He is headed for greater places and endeavors! He has always been working on a grander scale. Not a body of flesh, not a grave, or even a whole tribe of self-oriented people can put Him away! He is a conquering King! He is the Son of God! He is free!
It is at this critical hour where we must check ourselves. Where are we in all of this? Where are we in our walk with God? Are we heading steadily and surely towards an endless life with Him? Or have our interests shifted? Are we content with ourselves, our ideology, our religions or our lives? Are we happy with what we have found already? Are we going to settle for this low plain or state? Can we sense a burning within to experience a God Who is not confined? Are we ready to seek out the One that the grave could not hold? Are we ready to be bewildered, astonished and unendingly surprised? Are we ready to find a Lord Who is like nothing we have ever imagined? Are we ready to be forever thrilled to find the One Who is free from the grave? Are we ready to come to Jesus?
It seems that we never learn. Like the Jews of old we have fallen into our comfortable routines, our fine ideals and a feeble awareness of You! Let the sun come up soon for us! Let a new day dawn upon us! Let us wake up to find that nothing on our earth can bind You! Let us discover again that the grave never could hold You! Open our hearts now and prepare us to meet One from out of this world! Prepare us to find a risen Saviour! Thrill us and overwhelm us! Let us come undone as we bow before a living God! Humble us with the thought of following, coming to know and beholding Jesus Christ! Help us to realize the empty grave and know that we can have the joy of loving and serving the One Who is truly free! Let begin that kind of week today!