The Beginning of the End

Read Matthew 28:1-10  

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.” (Matthew 28:1)

Shadows stretched long and deep from the sunrise
on that day,
tracing the rough-hewn stone edge of the tomb.
On that day,
Mary’s somber footsteps shivered with surprise
in the way
the Savior’s silent tomb became a womb,
In the way
the angel’s earthquake language shook her life
on that day.
The death grip rescinded, new life subsumed
on that day
grief and joy, loss and gain. All revivified
in the way
Jesus struck death down in dying at noon;
in the way
divine power enfleshed, emerges alive
on that day.
No words from Mary’s lips, her vision trued
in the way
the beginning and the end were circumscribed
on that day
in flesh and bone through heaven’s glorious wound.



by Matt Erickson


Easter Sunday Family Talk

Based on Matthew 28:1-10

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Mary put one foot in front of another as she and her friend, also named Mary, climbed the hill in the dark early morning. They walked in silence, because they had no words left. Last Friday, they had watched Jesus die, and they knew that he was quickly buried and placed in a stone, cold tomb. Their hearts were heavy. Their footsteps were heavy. And their arms were heavy with pounds of burial oils.

Can’t we see Jesus just one more time?

Can’t we do something? 

The answer was “no, of course not.” But their hearts kept on asking. 

Then, one Mary said to the other, “There is something we can do. Jesus never was given a proper burial—the kind with clean linen and nice-smelling spices. We could go, on the first day of the week, and wrap his body the right way. At least we could do that.”

And so now, here they were. Trudge, trudge, trudge.

Suddenly, a flash of light ahead! A deep rumble of earth beneath their feet. A massive grinding stone rolls past the cave entrance. First one armed guard slumps to the ground, then the other. Now what? Really, what more can happen?

The women approach, and see the dazzling angel, sitting on top of the massive stone. “Don’t be afraid!” he calls to Mary and Mary. “I know you are looking for Jesus!” And then the angel grins, “He is not here! He has risen—just like He said He would! Now go, tell the disciples.”

Without a word, the women turn to run back to town. Could it be? Could Jesus really be alive? 

And then . . . Jesus shows up! “Greetings!” He says.

The women drop their armloads of spices and fall to their knees, reaching for Jesus. After a few moments, Jesus helps them to their feet. “Don’t be afraid!” He says, “Go, tell my disciples to meet me in Galilee.” 

The sun beams over the horizon, lighting their path. Jesus is back! The women laugh, and cry, and dance!

Sin only leads to sadness and death, but because Jesus paid for sin—for all time—He has put death into reverse! He wins! And because Jesus has won over sin and death for all time, we can know that, for God’s people, death is not for keeps. We will rise, just like Jesus did, and will live with Him forever!
(1 Corinthians 15:20, 21)

by Laure Herlinger


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