Next Sunday we will be studying/discussing the Easter story in Sunday School. This is the most important piece in history with a direct connection to the eternal destiny of every single life in all the ages past, present, and future. This story truly matters to each of us. So I don’t want to have to wrangle through the chronology of who came first to the tomb, and when did the second angel appear. I don’t care how many Marys there may have been. It doesn’t matter to me just when it was that John peered in there, and Peter lagged behind. Nor how it could be that the angel said to Mary that Jesus was on His way to Galilee, yet when she left there to head into Galilee herself she MET Jesus.
This story matters to our heart condition today. I noticed in my first cursory reading that the newly risen Jesus referred to the disciples as brethren. His suffering and dying has changed Him as well as it changes us. I had never thought of that before. Now Jesus can in full right and privilege stand there between me and God and honestly say, “I died for her sin, we love her, and please forgive her.” to the Father.
I am mostly interested this year in how the resurrection must have affected Mary Magdalene, for instance, out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons. Can you imagine her devotion to Jesus now? Mary, His mother, was there that morning, too. Can you feel the leap of hope in her heart when she realized that her son was now her risen Savior? She could easily have been in that time of life when some days are dully dark and heavy without the added dimension of the horrifying nightmarish crucifixion. How can one woman contain the sheer ecstasy of this new knowledge?!
Then there was Peter. He was the guy in the group that said what he felt out loud anywhere and everywhere. He had no tact, no discretion, and believed himself to be in touch with reality around him. He declared loudly, ” I will never deny you.” And in a few short hours stood there by the fire and blatantly lied about himself and Jesus. He had the grace to weep bitterly, though, when the truth struck home, thanks to that crowing rooster. Can you imagine how changed and thrilled he was when Jesus appeared to him afterward?