Easter’s “Now”

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb (Matthew 28.1)

For Christians, Easter proclaims that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection all who believe in him possess the promise, the power of eternal life – life after death, life beyond the grave.

Yes, I believe this, yet, on this Easter Day, I focus my attention, my vision on life now, which I view through the eyes of Mary and Mary.

At Jesus’ crucifixion, they, unlike the disciples, the men, did not flee in fear, but rather watched him die.[1]

At Jesus’ burial, they waited at the tomb.[2]

After the sabbath, at dawn, they returned to the tomb.

Why their fearless faithfulness? Their faithful fearlessness?

I don’t believe that it was because of Jesus’ death, but rather their experience of his life and his love unconditional. His outstretched arms extended to all at all times. For everyone and every moment was sacred, filled with the holiness of God.

And if…as that was so, then death was not an end. For his life and love were everlasting.

And if…as that was so, then they were to live each day with radical recklessness. Facing every dawn with a faith that liberally, loudly said, “Yes” to life. All that it offered. Beauty and terror. Joy and pain. Looking not back, brooding over past failure and defeat. Nor forward, anxiously anticipating trial and trouble. But ever present in that moment called “now.”

This is what I believe Mary and Mary saw in Jesus. And this is what they came to believe…to know: To embrace wholly the holy “now” was to have eternal life.

And I, believing…knowing this, too, this day, cry with joy, “Alleluia! Christ is risen! We, now, are risen, indeed! Alleluia!”

© 2023 PRA

Illustrations: The Two Marys at the Tomb of Jesus, James Tissot (1836-1902)

[1] Matthew 27.55

[2] Matthew 27.61

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