As I sit here contemplating the joyousness of this Easter season, I find myself looking to when Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of James found Jesus’ empty tomb only to be greeted by an angel. What an incredible gift – experiencing the awe and understanding that our Lord keeps His promises. But I can’t help but think of the moments right before. The time in which these faithful women journeyed in the cool dawn air to care for the body of our God. Walking in near darkness, most likely praying as they were about to enter into His presence, and still mourning the loss of someone they continued to love very much.
How strange those minutes must have been. Trying to prepare their hearts that felt such aching and an emptiness which could only be filled by the person of Christ Jesus.
I think sometimes I can live there, in those ‘before’ moments. As if I’m walking in the dark, preparing for the worst, while in reality the Lord of all already lives – that Love Himself has come back for me. Instead of living in the season of rejoicing in my Risen Savior, I create a perpetual desert, thinking one day I can make myself deserving to be in the midst of Jesus.
Lent is beautiful and prepares our hearts for Christ’s Resurrection, but it’s important to remember that it ends so Easter can begin, and that the dawn breaks so we might see the empty tomb. In those moments leading up to finding the angel and hearing his message, both Marys knew God’s promises, and that He was the only one who could somehow make them happen. And once they ran and found Him, all they could do was persevere in trusting Him to go tell the other disciples.
It’s been a difficult year for many of us. Whether it’s from the circumstances we share, or personal struggles that seem to envelop us even further. So, it may be hard to see the stone rolled back – but the Lord of all lives. The Lord who is stronger than our sin, or the ways in which we feel inadequate. The Lord of our joys and peace. The Lord who sings rejoicing each time we come back to Him. He died and resurrected so that we might know that we are loved with a love that goes to the very end.
Easter is not simply a day. Jesus didn’t endure his Passion so we could celebrate for 24 hours just to go back to the desert, but it’s an entire season contemplating His triumph over death so that we could spend eternity with Him.
So, I invite you to gaze upon the empty tomb, and take heart.
If you feel overwhelmed by your struggles, exhausted by the lies of the world, or torn down by the weight of sin, step into the light of Jesus’ everlasting victory, and find rest in His Resurrection.
Alleluia, Alleluia! The tomb is empty. He Is Risen.
*If you would like to pray with the image that inspired this blog you can find it here: The Empty Tomb by Mikhail Nesterov
Alexandra Cernick graduated with a degree in creative writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, after which she spent two years serving as a FOCUS missionary. She has a deep love for family, and a strong passion for sharing Christ and His Church through beauty. She is a frequent contributor to Behold, a program with the goal of leading women to see their innate dignity through praying visio divina.
Alex is a writer, artist, coffee drinker, maker of Mexican food, lover of the Saints, and a big fan of the Oxford comma. She is a firm believer that “beauty will save the world”, and hopes to play a small part in whatever ways God calls her to.