Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Today is Easter Sunday, the 21 April. Happy Easter!
As I enter into prayer today on this Easter day, I slow down. I slow right down and notice where I am, I notice what is around me...
Our first reading this weekend is from the Letter to the Romans.
Jesus is risen, he is risen indeed, Alleluia! And the whole of existence bathes in a new light – and St Paul struggles to find words to communicate this extraordinary event and the hope that it offers us all.
At the heart of St. Paul’s words is the idea that we are completely caught up in the flow of Christ’s life, from death to life. As he says, “we have been baptised into Christ Jesus”, plunged into the dynamic of his life. So on this Easter day, where might Christ be asking you to notice new life?
Christ’s death is of course an act of complete self-giving love, the very opposite of sin. How are you being called to share in this movement of Christ’s self-giving love? What must die within you, for you to live more fully in Christ?
St. Paul holds out to us the hope that we will share in Jesus’ resurrection. What difference does that hope make to you now as you listen to the Gospel from Luke?
For a moment, put yourself in the place of Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James. What are they carrying in their hearts as they come to the tomb? Sense what it is like to approach the tomb in the gloom of the early morning. How do they react seeing the stone is rolled away? Feel their terror and amazement as they see the two men in dazzling clothes and hear the words, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.’
‘He is not here, but has risen’. Dwell with these words for a while. Where is this living Lord to be found in your life? How do you sense him now? What does he want you to grasp or understand on this, the morning of his resurrection? What might you want to share with him and him with you?
The witness of the women is dismissed, but not by all. Peter runs to the tomb. Perhaps you wonder what effect your own witness has on people. How do you desire to share your faith with others? How might the Lord wish you to share it? What does it mean to you to be his witness in the world?
‘He has risen.’ For a moment talk to the risen Lord as friends do, sharing with him whatever is in your heart and mind today.