Text: John 20:1-18
He is risen and just as important we are being raised. Hallelujah! If on this Easter morning you woke up with joy and celebration in your heart, this day is for you. If on this day you awoke with despair and darkness in your heart, this day is for you too. For you see, resurrection only makes sense when we have known the dead places of heart, soul, mind and body. There can be no resurrection without some kind of death. So today, when we celebrate the culminating joy of our most sacred season of mystery and magnificence—the day when the stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty—all of us belong to this story. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
Easter morning is a powerful crescendo for our faith. We mark today the power of resurrection and life. Jesus’ liberation over death, over lost dreams and hope, over separation from those whom he loved. Today is about LIFE and living. Nothing should be taken away from the importance and significance and beauty of this day. And yet, you know and I know from our life experiences that Easter is more of a journey than a destination. It is a process that happens as we move spiritually from the dead places in our lives to places of new life. As our text has said, this is the day that we mark the empty tomb, the empty tomb that heralds the miracle of resurrection. But I will say again, resurrection is more of a journey than it is a destination. The next few weeks and even months our faith narrative will continue to carry us through the unfolding drama of the risen Christ appearing to his disciples—on a beach cooking fish, in a locked room where fear hangs heavy in the air, on a dusty road paved with questions and doubts. Each time Christ attempts, even after his death and resurrection, to help the disciples grasp the meaning and power of the events of his life and his death and his resurrection.
And so as we mark this auspicious day in our faith narrative I want to spend some time thinking about how Easter morning with its empty tomb is a turning point—a quiet and almost overlooked moment of transformation and change that has begun but is almost missed by those closest to it. And lest we, like those early disciples, stand in danger of missing the empty tombs of our day, I want to tell the Easter story through the lens of three current day empty tombs in our own world. They serve as Easter stories for 2014!