Thank you for bearing with the interruption to our regularly scheduled programming as your Theologian-in-Residence took a much-needed respite from writing meditations after Holy Week. Welcome back!
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:1-7)
According to Luke’s gospel, when the women arrive at the tomb to embalm Jesus’ body, they find the tomb empty and meet, instead, two angels—‘two men in dazzling clothes’—who inform them that they should have known that this was going to happen. We will see this throughout Luke’s account of the resurrection: throughout it, the disciples and first followers of Christ will have to learn again what it really means for Jesus to be their Savior, will have be reminded again of who Jesus really is. They didn’t get it the first time around, and only in the light—the marvelous afterglow, as it were—of the resurrection, are they able really to understand all that he has taught them. ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’ the angels ask the women: a worthy question for all of us to ask ourselves this Eastertide.
Let us pray: O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be dominion and praise for ever and ever. Amen.
Learn: Hear from former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as he speaks about the ‘real demands’ Easter makes on us.