It’s not always been so, but these days I love getting up very early in the morning, while it is yet dark.
I listen for the first bird song in the spring that ushers in the full avian chorus. I check the eastern horizon for the light of a new day. It is quiet, before the world wakes, and I think of Mary on that one Sunday morning when she came looking for the body of her Lord and instead found an empty tomb.
What must it have been like for her in that first moment of realization. Jesus was not there!
Go with me this morning to a place near Jerusalem. Put yourself in Mary’s place. Experience the revelation anew.
My friend, Debbie Moore, takes us there.
The sun skipped through the garden as a gentle breeze danced with spring blossoms weaving a canopy of pink lace overhead. As my turn came to enter the Garden Tomb, a wonder filled my heart no words could convey.
How many times had I tried to picture this very scene as a bonneted child seated on our family pew each Easter? I could never quite grasp how the stone had mysteriously been rolled away and the dark tomb emptied of the body of Jesus who had been so lovingly cradled within.
At this moment, though, the dampness and still air walked with me as I peered into the small section where my Savior’s body would have been placed. I closed my eyes and pictured the angels lingering at the doorway, the neatly folded burial cloth that promised His return, and the whisper of Hope eternal at His exit. I suddenly realized I had not taken a breath since entering the tomb.
The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem
As other tourists took my place, I stole one last glance at the empty tomb and my heart seemed to burst with a Hallelujah Chorus all of its own.
We concluded our tour in the Garden with the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Our guide read the Easter story in the backdrop of a capella hymns being lifted heavenward from groups of fellow sojourners nearby. Oh, what a glorious day!
Would that we could celebrate Easter in our hearts so vividly each and every day this Holy season as we prepare our hearts to receive again the Passion of our Christ. How can we ever express our deep gratitude for His ultimate Gift of Love?
Let us consider a reverent observance in silence and wonder at the most precious of sacrifices the world will ever know. Reflect on His boundless love overflowing with tender mercies and hide them in your heart.
Do not look for the living among the dead. He is alive!