Saturday, April 3, 2010

3 persons and an empty tomb

Easter Sunday

It was very early on that first Easter morning and still dark. We see the first of the three characters in today’s gospel story. Mary of Magdala comes in the dark, which does not only refer to the physical darkness surrounding her but also the darkness of her faith. Mary loved Jesus while he was still alive. If she had no great love for him, she would not be the first to arrive at the tomb. She has come not only to see the body of Jesus but she has come to prepare the body properly for burial. The burial on Good Friday was too rushed. The followers of Jesus had no time to prepare his body for a proper burial because the Sabbath was starting. As you all know, no Jew would be seen working on the Sabbath day. But now on the first day of the week, as soon as the Sabbath was over, Mary arrives. But her faith is clouded by the darkness of fear. She sees the stone which covered the tomb has been moved away. She does not enter. Perhaps, she cannot bear to see the body of her beloved Jesus missing, stolen or desecrated.

At times, many of us are like Mary. We love Jesus and God but we are not prepared to go any further. We are not prepared to go deeper because we fear that we may not find what we were expecting. But unless, we take the risk and enter the tomb, we will always be standing outside speculating. Many people go through life without making important decisions. Many people stay clear of commitment. Many people fear going deeper into any relationship because they actually fear the changes that may take place. But unless, we are prepared to take the risk, unless we are prepared to make the commitment, unless we are prepared to make a deeper commitment, we will always remain outside fearful and uncertain. This question would constantly plague us: “What if …?”

The second character that we see is Peter. He is the elder of the two disciples who run to the tomb upon hearing the news from Mary of Magdala. He is slower than the other disciple. Perhaps it is his age or perhaps he is also afraid of what he may find at the tomb. Some of us are like him – we hesitate, we postpone, we procrastinate. We do this because we are afraid of the truth which may challenge our present lives. We are afraid of the pain it may bring because truth often reveals our faults and our limitations. We are afraid to face our weaknesses. Peter may have been thinking about that. What if Jesus had actually risen? Would Jesus then punish Peter for his infidelity? Would Jesus confront Peter with his betrayal? It is better to pretend that nothing had happened. Sometimes, when we are faced with the truth, we too choose to be blind to it. But unless we admit our faults and face up to our failures, there can never be growth.

The third and final character in the story is the disciple whom Jesus loved. He has no name because he represents the ideal disciple – the disciple who is prepared to take risks, the disciple who is willing to make a commitment, the disciple who is ready to face the truth about himself, even about his own weaknesses. We are told in the gospel that when he entered the empty tomb, “he saw and he believed.”

Today, we celebrate Easter Sunday. Jesus has risen. Yet many do not know this. Many are afraid to find out. Many are afraid to tell. How about you? Are you still crippled by your fears? Are you still afraid to enter the tomb? Or are you prepared to take the risks, make a commitment to follow Jesus and face the truth about yourself? Only then, can you become a real witness of the Easter story.

1 comment:

  1. You wrote: the disciple whom Jesus loved. He has no name because he represents the ideal disciple has a free Bible study eBook that simply compares scripture with scripture in order to reveal facts about the unnamed "other disciple, whom Jesus loved" that are often overlooked. It may be worth your time to consider the presentation of biblical evidence that it offers.


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