Luke 24, 1-10
Easter day: 2007
Partners in Business
Today we celebrate Easter, the day of Resurrection, the greatest feast of the Christian Church that gives meaning from historical events that involved, a birth, a life, suffering, pain and even death and at the same time hope for future from an event historically significant, and wondrous. Events that happened in Jerusalem as depicted here by Luke also points to some of the basic practices we as a church are called to.
There are three beautiful stories here today.
1. The story of new dawn.
2. The story of rolled away tomb stone.
3. The story of the empty tomb.
The Story of a New Dawn
Darkness was leaving the earth. At early dawn, when the sun was breaking into a new day, the women came to see the Glory of God. Let us go back to the beginning of creation. In the beginning there was chaos and darkness and His spirit moved over the chaos and brought forth life and light. So this day is very significant as here there is a second creation beginning with a different focus. In this creative process God also takes his weak creatures partners in business. However both events regardless of who partnered with whom, God makes sure that when darkness is removed, there is a new dawn with a new life.
At the early dawn the women came to see the body of Christ. It is typical human behavior that we search for dead bodies. Instead of looking for new life and new creation every morning mankind looks for dead bodies. Read the news and watch the TV. The new dawn is suppose to bring new creation, new life, new love, a new world.
Let us be reminded that every morning we wake up is filled with great potential for a transformative process within ourselves. Let us not look for the dead but the living. Let us see the dead coming alive rather than oil the dead and wait for their corpses.
The story of rolled away tomb stone.
The women who were with him at his death, came to see his dead body. But they were surprised to see the rolled away tombstone.
The women who came to the tomb came simply because of their love for their dear one and also it was the custom of the people. Jesus was buried with all family ritual whereby a close family member provides a clean cloth, oils to cover the body of Christ. AS was the custom of the time, here comes the women to anoint him again, on the third day. So, in their minds they were expecting the corpse of Christ lying alone in the cave. They went after a dead man’s body.
Here comes the second and very interesting question. They found the stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb.
1. Was the tomb stone rolled away so that Christ could come out of it? Or
2. Was the tomb stone rolled away so that the women could go in?
What do you think? Yes, the tomb stone was rolled away for mankind to enter eternity. Because may be this is what tomb stones mean.
- ” The tomb stone represented those that separate humans from God.
- ” The big and heavy tomb stone represented the sins of human nature that blocks the world of the living and the world of the dead.
- ” Tomb stones keep corpses inside and their spirits are trapped within.
- ” Tomb stones make bones and decayed flesh contained.
Before these women went to the tomb these were the events that should mankind should be ashamed of for a life time.
- ” Peter was ashamed and afraid to own his friendship with Christ. And so are we. We are afraid of owning our own friendships with God and others.
- ” John was ashamed and afraid to stand up for Christ. And we are afraid to stand up for our fellow men.
- ” Apostles were ashamed and afraid to walk behind Christ on his way to the cross. And we are reluctant to walk with people in their pain, suffering and death.
- ” The women cried their heart out but couldn’t help him. And we cry out for others and we fail to help.
So, on this day of resurrection this is what happened.
- ” Tomb stone that blocked their faith was rolled away.
- ” Tomb stone of shame was rolled away
- ” Tomb stone of fear was rolled away
Therefore in the final analysis tomb stone was rolled away by the power of Christ’s new life and was not rolled away by anyone but the new life. So the answer is, Christ had to come out of the tomb for He made the spirit and the flesh redeemable and redeemed and not to be destroyed. The stone, the sin, the fear, the anger, and all that block us from reaching God was rolled away once and for all.
So, Easter is a day when we are called to remember the experience of Mary and the women and apostles who ran into the tomb.
The story of the empty tomb.
This is the story of every new Christian and a faithful old one. The one who believes in Christ is walking into a new dawn of life. The spirit of God will hover over him or her and begin a new creation. At the early dawn of each day of their life, they will walk into the empty tomb of their yesterday and realize they are not dead any more or done enough to quit. They are called to live today. And if at the end of day if it feels like they are dying, be sure, the day of resurrection is waiting. They have become partners with Christ in his life, death and resurrection.
Apostles and those who followed Christ in all centuries went through death and resurrection.
But this day, they ran into the empty tomb to see the Glory of God. Their fear and their shame was melted at the new dawn. When the spirit of God hovers over us, when we step into a new dawn of resurrected people, there is a new creation and there is a new life.
So today, the day of resurrection should teach us two things.
1. The darkness of the night of our life needs to go before the dawn comes into life.
2. And every morning we have to walk into the empty tomb of our yesterday’s life so that we can be resurrected to give a new life.