March 31, 2013: Easter Sunday
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. (John 20:1-9)
Today begins the Easter season, a 50-day joyous celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. However, today’s gospel reading doesn’t sound especially joyous. In fact, Jesus’ three disciples appear a little confused about what’s going on. Mary Magdalene says, “The Lord has been taken from the tomb. We don’t know where they have put him.” Peter is silent. John believes, although “as yet they did not understand the Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”
It took a while for Jesus’ followers to begin to understand the resurrection and its meaning in their lives. How would you describe Jesus’ resurrection? Ask these friends of Jesus — Mary Magdalene, Peter and John — to share their understanding of resurrection as new life in the risen Christ.