"Jesus said to her; 'Mary,' She turned to him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' which means teacher." (John 20:16)
If the disciples had been able to sleep at all last night - after the long, stressful, Saturday - they would have awoken to another day anticipating the bitter pain of promise broken; defeat still bitter against the unremitting backdrop of disappointment, dankness, death.
But they were still stuck fast in their "Kingdom of THIS world" mindset. It would have to take a miracle to shake that limited ideology loose.
And a miracle is exactly what happened! Jesus abandoned the tomb and was immediately ready to move on to the next stage of his mission here on Earth. But his friends were not ready, they still didn't quite understand what exactly was going on.
Resurrection was almost too much for them - and who could blame the frightened group of men and women - and so it took several interviews with Jesus over a number of days and in a variety of settings for Peter and Co. to finally get on board with the Master's intentions and to understand the next stage of the Great Plan.
They were elated, excited, thrilled beyond measure... but they were still unsure of themselves, doubting and fearful. Of course it was a dream come true to see the Savior once again, but they still needed to understand that his Kingdom was not of this world, that he would not physically direct their activities any more, that his time with them was only Phase One of a greater, long-term, universal plan.
- "Peace be with you", he said, and "Receive the Holy Spirit".
Which puts the Easter message firmly and squarely on the backs of us, his Easter People. "Peace be with you"... "Receive the Holy Spirit."
The joy and the excitement we feel today, dressing up for church and singing great hymns of praise, is real. It really is the presence of the Living Christ, right here with us in the 21st Century. In fact, the thrilling miracle of Easter is this: that today, April 12, 2009, we can experience the grace and peace of a Risen Savior!
God is not limited by time and space, but instead by our willingness (or otherwise) to carry his love and living presence into this broken world. What a privilege! what an awesome responsibility!
I wonder what might be next...?
PRAYER: We are most privileged and blessed, Lord, to know you in your resurrection power - TODAY! Amen.