In the Morning Light

Luke 24:5-8 “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.”

 

In the stillness of early morning just before dawn, the whole earth seemed to wait in anticipation for the grand entrance of the sun. Darkness gave way to a rising sun displaying God’s handiwork in shades of pinks, blues and yellows bursting forth and announcing the arrival of the sun.  As its brightness made its way higher and higher into the heavens its brightness dominated the sky forcing these beautiful colors to disappear.  A new day now began with all its hopes and dreams. But yet…

For the grieving band of disciples, darkness covered them. It appeared evil had won and no hope was to be found. They wailed and mourned while fear grew ever stronger in their hearts. Fear so strong thoughts of a similar fate reigned supreme. Darkness and fear held a strong grip and refused to let them go.

In the meantime, just before the dawn began  painting its beautiful colors across the sky, a small group of women made their way to the tomb to anoint the dead battered body of Jesus. They came with spices and ointments to what they thought was His final resting place. In the rush of placing Jesus in the tomb before the start of Sabbath, Jesus’ body had not been cleansed and anointed according to Jewish customs.  Their thoughts at crucifixion had been to return to the tomb after the Sabbath Day had ended and finish the anointing of His body.  After all, He deserved to have His battered body treated with loving care.

As they walked down the narrow pathway leading toward His tomb, sorrow grew stronger and stronger in their hearts. They had been there when Jesus’ body had been taken from the cross and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.  They had witnessed it all but struggled to understand how these things happened.  He died in such a brutal way in shame and disgrace and sorrow. How could this have happened to their Lord? Why were the Romans so cruel? Why had their own Sanhedrin condemned Him to death?

Glancing into the heavens, they witnessed the sky’s beautiful dawn of colors. The sun would be partially up by the time they reached His tomb. There would be enough light for them to see the entrance of the tomb.  They knew they would encounter the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb and thought perhaps they would take pity on them and move the huge stone blocking the entrance.  After all, they were only lowly women coming to take care of the body of their loved one.

Little did these women understand what they were about to encounter.

As they approached the tomb where Jesus had been placed, something was different.  There were no Roman soldiers and the morning light revealed the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. The women wondered at the sight.  Cautiously, they drew closer.  Mary boldly peaked into the tomb. The tomb was empty and Jesus was not there. And she began to cry.  Someone had stolen His body she surmised.

Suddenly the brilliant light of an angel shown before them and the voice echoed loudly into their ears.  “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.’

Suddenly they remembered His words.  And they were filled with joy!  They understood at that moment what Jesus had told them.  He had risen from the dead!!

No more sadness.  Only joy. Darkness gave way to light. And they ran to tell the disciples what they had seen and heard.

 

Sandra Hardage