When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. -- Mark 16:1-8
The thing is -- eventually they did tell someone. And eventually Jesus, the Jesus absent from his tomb, showed up himself. And kept showing up.
And keeps showing up.
Sometimes, in our own increasingly skeptical age, there is a temptation for us, as followers of Christ -- persons in whose lives Christ has showed up in various ways -- to say nothing to anyone, because we are afraid -- afraid of the rolled eyes, the uncomfortable silences, the impious jokes, the outright ridicule. It's just easier, we think, to keep our encounters with Christ to ourselves.
In the words of that famous theologian Charlie Parker, if you don't live it, it won't come out your horn...the corrolary being that if you do live it, it will come out your horn. And that's the thing: When we've been transformed by the touch of the living, resurrected Christ -- no matter how stunned or afraid or even unwilling to share the experience that we may be -- it's going to come out our horn, somehow. It's going to come out in the way we orient ourselves to our everyday reality, how we react to the people and situations around us...and for some of us, we will find our voice, whether that be in the context of sharing the story of our lives with the people around us, or finding ourselves called into a formal ministry.
He is not here. Jesus isn't walled up in the tomb where the various powers and principalities of this world -- and sometimes even we ourselves -- want to keep him safely out of the way of "business as usual." The Christ in whom and through whom and for whom all things were made, in whose love all things hold together, and who out of love for us poured himself out into our human lives and even our human death, will not be constrained -- not by the rocky parameters of a tomb; certainly not by our fear and lack of understanding.
He has been raised.
Artwork: "Et Resurrexit," Gisele Bauch