“Do not be alarmed,” he said, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. Go and tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him as He said to you” (Mark 16:6-7).
Really? Are you kidding me?
How bizarre must it have been for Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome to come to Jesus’ tomb, expecting to anoint His body for burial, only to find that the body was gone and a “young man” was there telling them to not be afraid. You have got to be joking! Fear would most definitely have been the emotion that would I would have had were I with those women!
This biblical passage is a common one read at Easter and as I reflected on it recently, I was struck with what an odd setting this was. The women who came to Jesus’ tomb saw something very, very different than what was expected once one died. His body would be there, right? It was supposed to be there. There weren’t many stories of bodies coming out of the grave once they went in previous to this time, nor even now. Except for an occasional flood in the Midwest, bodies typically do not come out of the tombs they were originally put in. This story stands as a constant reminder that the God Jesus served was not One to be put into a box…literally!
Similarly, for you and I today, He does not want to be in a box any more than He did then. The resurrection is a clear sign of that—God cannot be and is not limited by the things by which we are limited. And while it is perplexing and a bit freaky, this also brings me great hope!
N.B.: Oftentimes, art depicting the empty tomb morning is a bit cheesy. Few images capture this scene as well as the art of Gustave Dore.