Two Marys make their way
to Jesus’ tomb,
as morning sun breaks the horizon,
the third day since the horror.
They step quickly over killing ground,
crosses standing close,
memories raw with grief.
They turn away, forcing thoughts
to focus on why they’ve come.
A proper burial for the Master,
spices and oinment and wrappings.
Joseph and Nicodemus,
who had sorrowfully taken Jesus’ body down,
had no time as the sun set
and hope died
and night threatened falling.
“Who will roll away the stone for us?”
they wondered aloud as they neared the place.
Women could do no such thing.
A tomb-sealing burial stone
was a massive mountain
to seal in the dead
and seal out grave robbers.
But, close now,
they saw the stone rolled aside,
the tomb unclosed.
Their fear as yet unfelt,
drawn as they were to look.
Caution to the wind,
they bent and stepped inside.
A white-robed young man sat there then,
his presence now signalling danger.
He spoke calmingly, knowingly:
“Don’t be alarmed.
You seek Jesus of Nazareth,
the crucified one.
He is not here; he is risen!
Look! This is where he lay.
Now, go tell his disciples,
‘He goes ahead to Galilee
where you will see him as he said.'”
The Marys ran, then,
ran without thinking,
from fear quaking
with fright trembling,
by terror impelled.
They were afraid,
their tongues stark still,
said nothing to anyone.
Soon, though, they will speak,
breaking their silence
with news too wondrous to keep.
Soon their fear will turn to great joy,
and their trembling to praise-full celebration.
But today, the third day from the cross,
they tremble with fear.
How different from us!
How removed from our routineness!
The grave was empty,
the young man an angel,
How many times we’ve heard it all.
Only rousing music stirs us;
not black words on white page–
even from the Holy Book.
Jesus conquered death.
Unless it’s near us,
it moves us not.
Or if it does,
it does reassuringly comforting for that day.
But tremble we don’t,
fearful we’re not.
Awe of the almighty
doesn’t grip us.
Our mouths don’t hang open,
our tongues aren’t shocked still.
Of course, we sing in celebration,
Christ has triumphed over death for us!
But still, here is place for reverence,
reverence so reverant it borders on fear–
fear of power so shattering,
it raises the dead
and drives open a tomb.
So, come, with two Marys.
Find the massive stone rolled away.
Unthinkingly enter and find the young man.
Listen to his words: “Jesus is not here; he is risen!”
And tremble in awe at the power of the Almighty–
power exceeding even the unrelenting dominence
of death itself!