Sunday, April 16, 2017
The women went early expecting the dreaded moment of seeing the dead body of Jesus once more. As hurried as they had been on Friday afternoon, there simply was not enough time to finish the burial preparation before the beginning of Sabbath. So with the sun slipping away, they, too, slipped away planning to return on Sunday morning to finish what they had started. Nothing could have prepared them for what they found. An empty tomb. Angels. Soldiers asleep to the point of death. And, a walking in their midst Jesus.
Later, after listening to the women give their report of the early morning sighting of a resurrected Jesus and checking out the empty tomb for themselves, the disciples gathered in a private secluded place in Jerusalem to plan their next move. Making sure the doors were locked, they tried to make some sense of what had happened that day. Suddenly, without knocking or opening the door, Jesus was in the room with them. No one needed to tell them who was with them. Not a one doubted it was Jesus. It was Jesus speaking, giving them assurances, and giving them peace.
Much later in the day, Cleopas and his friend arrived in Emmaus with a new friend who had joined them on their walk from Jerusalem. When it came to the moment of sharing bread around the table, the two travelers realized it was Jesus who broke the bread with them. It was Jesus, the One they had heard had slipped from the tomb of death early that very day. And, then as soon as they knew Him, He was gone from their midst, but not from their hearts. It was a day when many saw Him as they had never seen Him. It is such a day for all of us as well. As they knew, so do we. He is Risen!