The women who first arrived by the grave of Jesus, found it empty. Quite often we think of this moment as a joyous one. But joy was not the immediate reaction of the disciples arriving to the grave. According to the gospels they were perplexed and afraid, they were wondering and wept, they did not first recognize Jesus when they met him. Mary stands weeping outside the tomb, doubting that someone has removed the body of Jesus. Peter looks in the empty grave, but does not understand what has happened, and goes away.
The reactions of the disciples by the empty tomb are human. In the middle of their sorrow, they are unable to remember what Jesus himself had said: That the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again. (Lk 24:7). Their thoughts are only focused into the moment at hand, to the excruciating information that their beloved one is gone.
Sorrow, despair, seeking and finally joy and mirth in facing the inexplicable are intertwined in the gospel readings of the Easter Morning. We long for our beloved ones, we come to the grave, we seek for consolation in our sorrow. The same pain which the disciples experienced, the same pain that Jesus went through in his life, is also our share.
But what is more meaningful are the latter part of Jesus´ words: rise again. These are the words that will remain – the resurrection and life will remain.
This is the understanding that brings forth joy. The joy that makes the women who met Jesus to rush away from the grave, out of the garden, to the others, to bring the good news into the whole world. At Easter morning, impossible becomes possible, the boarder between heaven and earth, between this reality and God´s reality and the reality of this world will break down, and life will overcome death.
Joyful Easter to all