Scripture: St. Luke 24:1-12
The Jewish sabbath is our Saturday. It was the last day of the week and it commemorates the rest of God after the work of creation.
The Christian sabbath, Sunday, is the first day of the week and it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus.
It was on our Sunday the women went to the tomb to attend the caring of the last rites for a loved one who was dead, embalming and anointing His body with spices and wrapping in white cloth.
The tomb had been sealed with a great cylinder-like stone at its entrance. But, when the women arrived, they discovered the stone had been rolled away.
The all-important and shattering question in this story is the question of the 2 men who appeared dressed in white raiment, who asked the women, “Why are you looking for him who is alive among the dead?”
The real problem yet today is many of us are still looking for Jesus among the dead. There are those who regard Jesus as the greatest man and noblest hero who ever lived, as one who lived the loveliest life that has ever been lived on earth and who died. That will not do! Jesus is not dead! He is not just a hero of the past; he is a living presence today.
There are those who regard Jesus as a man whose life must be studied and whose words must be examined and whose teaching must be analyzed.
There is a tendency of some to think of Christianity and Christ as something to be studied. Beyond any doubt, study is necessary, but Jesus is not someone to be studied. He is much more. Jesus is someone to be met and lived with everyday of our lives. He is not just a figure in a book, even though this book is the greatest book ever written and is still the best seller of the year 2000 years after His death and resurrection.
There are those who see Jesus as the perfect pattern and example for this life. He is that, but it remains true that a perfect example may be the most heartbreaking thing in the world. For centuries, the birds gave man the example of flight, yet it took until this modern time before men could fly around the world, but also walk on the face of the moon.
Jesus Christ is not simply the model for life itself; He is the living presence of life itself. It may well be that our Christianity lacked that essential something because we are still looking for Him who is alive among the dead.
We have built multi-million dollar showplaces and called the church, in the very shadow of poverty and starvation of many, at the very doorsteps of his house with locked doors, chained doors, and bars on the window to keep out those who need him most because they don’t measure up to our standard of Christianity.
We hear the cries of many who are in desperate need, causing our lord to still be tortured and hanging on the cross or lying dead in a stone cold grave.
This Easter season I sense that above the noise of society, Jesus whispers softly, “Christians, wake up. I need your support to aid me that all my children might have all that is needed, for the simplest needs for this life until i return to establish my kingdom on earth.”
We have built multi-million dollar showplaces and labeled them as holy churches at the very site of a poverty stricken world, yet Easter is the reality that we worship and serve a risen Lord, the one and only loving father of all persons and all nations.
Let us pray.