He is not here for He has risen…—Matthew 28:6

Only a week had passed since that triumphant Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem—but what a difference in the little procession that set out now! No cheering crowds, no waving branches.  Just a few silent women setting out in the grey dawn to perform the last rites at the tomb.

The day that changed human history was not a public occasion but a private one.  The day when everlasting life broke into earthly time began not with celebration but with tears.

This is still the way Easter breaks into our lives—when we least expect it, when all seems lost; when the stone rolls away the angel speaks and “death is swallowed up in victory”                                               (1 Corinthians 15:54)

If it seems too good to be true, this joy that invades our hearts, it seemed so on the first Easter morning too.  Mary Magdalene couldn’t believe what her eyes were telling her; she took Jesus to be a gardener at work early among the graves.  Preoccupied with her loss, she barely glanced at the figure standing before her on the path.    She had a mournful task to fulfil.

There in the first light of dawn, Mary stood still.  That voice…that tone of loving involvement.  That moment when Jesus called her by name, Easter broke like the sunrise into her heart.   It’s how we recognise Him still.  The risen Jesus calls us personally, comes into our lives individually, and we can cry out in glad recognition.

Then we do what the women did on that first Easter Sunday.  They rushed to tell the others.  They set the pattern, these women who were first at the empty tomb, the two-fold pattern of the Christian faith new-born that Easter morning. They met the living Jesus and brought the good news to those who grieved.

That’s always our role, when it’s Easter to tell someone else that He is Risen.

Taken from Guideposts