What extremes of emotion Mary Magdalene must have felt that first Easter. Tears as she stood at the foot of the cross on Friday with the other women who loved Jesus, watching him suffer and die. A grieving Saturday while the women waited for the Sabbath to end so they could attend to his proper burial care. Then on Sunday, she went to his tomb with a heavy heart carrying salves and herbs, expecting to care for his dead body. Instead, terrifyingly, she found the tomb empty. And finally joy again, when she met the resurrected Jesus in the garden!
Death could not hold Him. The same mighty power used to create all-that-is defeated the spiritual death and separation from God human free will brought into the world.
His defeat of death means we have new life too, in Him. He is not gone or taken away as Mary feared when she found the tomb empty. He is not far from any of us. We just need to turn to see Him, to hear Him when He speaks our name, and say YES to His gift of life.
Not only when we first choose to call Him Lord, but daily, hourly, with every breath. So many yeses to say! Yes to freedom from our past mistakes, no matter what we’ve done. Yes to being right with God, all separation ended. Yes to His life-giving Spirit. Yes to choosing to follow where He leads.
And harder yeses too. Yes to Him opening all our dead places, all those hopes and dreams and fears and hurts we’ve closed off, shut away in a tomb and sealed with a heavy stone. Yes to that stone being rolled away, those hurts being healed, those hopes transformed.
Yes to new beginnings, with God and with others. Yes to forgiving as we are forgiven, freely and completely. Yes to our hearts being made new and filled with His love and His joy, again and again and again.
As often as we need, He is there for us. This Resurrection Sunday, and every day.