I woke up while it was still dark this morning, my body refusing to return to sleep, twisting, turning from one side to the other, pulsing with pain. So through my restless, blinking, squinting eyes, I watched the sunrise. I watched Easter slowly dawn. I remembered the darkness of the night, the empty grave that met the women, the running to and from, and to and from again. My feet tingled, tangled under the sheets.
I finally crawled out of bed, peeled back a curtain, and read this prayer in the sun, slowly settling across the page, shining, silky-pale through the window and the screen:
Bearing our curse, becoming sin,
you loose us from both the burden
of the law and from our lawlessness.
You bruise the serpent’s head,
and snatch us from its grip. You open
the way to resurrection, shattering
the gates of hell. You slay the one
who held death’s power, give comfort
to those who honor you. You give the holy cross
by which our enemy is slain, by which
our life returns to us abundantly.
—Macrina the Younger
It is finished, yet the sun still rose. It is finished, but we’re not. This new morning, its empty tomb, shows us that death didn’t end life—rather, life defeated death. The grave hollow, the linen folded, and the one they loved came and stood among them again, living.
“They saw and believed…but they did not yet understand.”
And still, He said her name. He says mine, he says yours. The risen Lord—full of power and glory—is still our humble shepherd, and we, still his beloved sheep, hear and know his voice.
The next time the graves empty, it will be forever. And we shall know more than his voice: we will know him, just as He has known us. We’ll see him. And we’ll all be changed. Suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye.
This Easter, I find myself longing for that Day.
My body is weak, shaking, hurting—but one day it won’t.
So I let this pain fuel my longing even more. In-between, I’m learning that Lent is living.
And I praise Him for what the bare grave renews as truth in my mind today—
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
For He himself took on the ultimate weakness—death—and breathed strength—life—into the brokenness, the marred mortality complete, finished: swallowed up in immortality. Perishable clothed in imperishable.
Won’t he do the same with us?
And in the end: “the last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
Until then, let’s live.
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain. –1 Corinthians 15.58
still dark, I came to the tomb,
and my Lord wasn’t there.
So I ran back home,
and brought the others with me, to see,
to see and believe.
They left me, still dark,
questioning, shaking, weeping.
I stooped to look, and it was
as if the sun had risen
within the tomb—so bright, where
two angels stood and asked me
why. I turned and answered
to a man, just a shadow as the sun,
rising came up.my eyes adjusting,
my ears ringing with the garden’s
shushing, the olive tree’s rustling
around us. He said my name.
my Lord was alive again,
and I ran to tell the others.