Yesterday we started the Easter season. Like Lent, Easter is 40 days long and is a time for reflecting on the truth of the reports that Jesus truly resurrected and lives. At the end of the 40 days, we celebrate his ascension or return to heaven and Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Did Jesus resurrect and does he live? Biblical reports say that the guards were paid to say the body was stolen. Others believe the body was switched and Jesus actually never died for God cannot die. Many just don’t care. The crucifixion and resurrection is key to the identity of Christians.
Next Sunday we will read the New Testament text written by John where he shares in 1 John 1: 1-4
1We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—2this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—3we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Information about reality enters our experience through our five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting. This passage is full of sensory words. The experiences of the resurrection were sensory. We will look at post resurrection reports reflecting on how these senses informed the person’s experience and confirm reality for us who were not there.
Easter Sunday women went to the tomb, carrying spices, to anoint Christ’s body. In the rush of getting Jesus buried after the crucifixion, proper ritual had not been completed. Perhaps in their grief the women wanted to make sure everything had been done properly – one last check. When they arrived they SAW that the stone “which was very large, had been moved away. (Mark 16:4)”
We have a saying, “Seeing is believing.” The women saw the unexpected; something was out of place. Sometimes when things are not what we expect we become alert. When there is a car accident, all the traffic slows down to look. When we see our friend with tears in the eyes, we know something is wrong. When items aren’t returned to their place, I admit I get frustrated looking for them. Visual clues trigger mental thinking, positive and negative. Pictures and icons work in a similar way. Perhaps spend some time right now with a favorite picture or photo and feel the emotions the picture brings and spend time expressing gratitude for that memory. Imagine the women outside the tomb with the stone rolled away. What thoughts might that have brought for you? How would you have felt? We know what the women found but they did not. Seeing alerts us that something is about to happen. Perhaps you find visual clues as your day unfolds. God is there with you when things are out of place. Blessings! He is risen!