Day 1: Luke 24:1-12
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
I have to reflect on Easter Sunday as I read this passage. It is often a chaotic Sunday – filled with family home for the holiday, trying to get everyone dressed in their best and to church on time, making sure food is prepped to grab and run out the door after church or the house is ready to go for an approaching family gathering, and seeing people at church who are rarely there but come for the sake of tradition.
The Easter story is a familiar story to many of us. We come on Easter Sunday ready to hear this story, but do we really let it resonate within us? JESUS IS ALIVE! What really happened, and can we really believe it? The Easter message is one that calls us from our old belief in death to a new belief in life. Death takes its toll on us all––it can’t be avoided. The idea that the one who died by crucifixion is now risen and alive seems outrageous. These ladies who went to the tomb that day received quite a message from the angel, and they immediately took the message back to the disciples. Peter thought the whole idea seemed crazy, but he had to go and check it out for himself. I’m sure he kept thinking, “Is it true?” and “What if it is true?”
We often follow in the same path as Peter, we want to see it for ourselves. We question and we tend to challenge God. Yet, he is up to the challenge as we hear him say, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
The story of Easter does not stop with Peter’s wonderment. God does not offer us anything less than the promise of life. Through the living Jesus, he gives us the gift of life.
Pam Little | Director of Children’s Ministry