Jesus will meet you there
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid. - Mark 16:1-8
I love to tell this story, but not why you might think. Yes, this is the Easter message of resurrection, and a tale of women. Just as Mary was the first to know of God’s plan for incarnation, Mary and the others are the first to know the fulfillment. That would be enough. So why, if not for these reasons, do I love this story?
God breaks into a mundane, heavy task of life, and places where we too wonder who will move this heavy weight? Where we too only see a dark tomb.
God intervenes to encourage us- fear, doubt, grief and pain do not have the last word.
God intervenes with reassurance when we cannot remember what we were told.
God provides people and moments drawing us out of ourselves into what God wants to share.
The messenger does not leave the women with “you are looking in the wrong place, try again.” God gives them direction to the next moment. Jesus will meet you there. And in each moment.
Because none of us can simply flip a switch and change our whole perspective, especially in challenging spaces. Later writers tried to add on to make the story resolve because they felt uncomfortable. I love that the original ending leaves room for uncertainty and for all of God’s possibility. Because in moment after moment when we need to be reminded that resurrection life is real, we will be met there. The truth is so amazing that even in a moment where the first to hear it blinked, the Holy Spirit moved to ensure the good news would be told and embodied. Now God has chosen us to go and tell - for ourselves and a world desperate for all the stones of life to be rolled away.
Thank you, Jesus. AMEN.
Pastor Carolyn K. Hetrick
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.