I woke up on Easter Monday. It was a special gift to sleep in and have the day off on a Monday. Having worked in and gone to public schools my whole life, I had never had the Monday after Easter off before. But now, working at a Catholic school, I am blessed with a day to celebrate, rest, and rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection.
I got out of bed, put a kettle of water on the stove and prepared a cup of tea. Warming my hands around a mug of black tea, I opened my bible to the Gospel for the day and read, “So Mary Magdalene and the other Mary departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Hail!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see me.’” Matthew 8-10
As I sat there, curled in my chair, reading this familiar verse, I thought about what it would have been like to be there that day. If I were one of them, I would have approached the tomb that morning with apprehension, expectation, and questioning. Could He really do what He said He would? Is He going to come back on the third day like he told us?
But there these two women were: they had come to the tomb, found it empty and now were leaving the tomb with both fear and great joy. They knew he had come back and they had to share the news. They were leaving to tell the other disciples and were excited to bring the good news.
They didn’t expect to see Him so soon, but He couldn’t wait. And He didn’t make them wait to see Him again. He didn’t come back, hide Himself, and then send His disciples on a hunt to find Him. He could not wait to meet them. He met them on the road as they left the tomb. They did not have to look for Him—He came seeking them. And He met them, individually and personally on the road. He didn’t make his first appearance to a big crowd saying, “I told you so.” He came in a small way, a personal way, a quiet way, a powerful way. He came to these two women to confirm their hope and quiet their fears. He came to them saying, “Do not be afraid.”
He came on the road, on their way from the tomb to these women to show them who He is and at the same time he saw deeply who they were.
Sometimes (ok, more than just sometimes) I think that I have to search for Christ, to run around hunting Him down, thinking that he has hidden himself and it is up to me to find him. But, he is here, looking for me. He is ready to meet me as I walk away from the tomb—unsure, fearful, but full of joy. He comes to meet me in a personal powerful way. I don’t have to search; I don’t have to wait; He comes to me.