He Descended to the Dead. The Third Day He Arose from the Dead. He Ascended into Heaven and Sits at the Right Hand of God the Father Almighty. From There, He Shall Come to Judge the Living and the Dead
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The resurrection is a miracle, the magnitude of which inspires both fear and joy at the same time. Resurrection is not resuscitation. It is the very reversal of death, the ultimate and final enemy of God. Picture this unfolding in your mind’s eye. The guards lying on the ground as though dead; the angelic being sitting atop the now rolled away stone; the women running to find the disciples to share this news; Jesus intercepting them on the road. Can you imagine? They fall to the ground and worship him, holding onto his feet. What a scene!
Are you there yet? Can you picture yourself at the feet of Jesus, grasping his feet? Reflect on what that would be like. What an affirmation of faith this would be.
The third day has returned; arise, my buried One; it is not becoming that Your limbs should lie in the lowly sepulchre, nor that worthless stones should press that which is the ransom of the world. It is unworthy that a stone should shut in with a confining rock, and cover Him in whose fist all things are enclosed. Take away the linen clothes, I pray; leave the napkins in the tomb: You are sufficient for us, and without You there is nothing. Release the chained shades of the infernal prison, and recall to the upper regions whatever sinks to the lowest depths. Give back Your face, that the world may see the light; give back the day which flees from us at Your death. But returning, O holy conqueror! You altogether filled the heaven!
—From On Easter
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