The Dying and Rising

Dr. Jill Peláez Baumgaertner

And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’”
(Matthew 28: 2-7a)

Holy Saturday, the day between the cross and the resurrection. Imagine Christ in the tomb, bending toward Easter, before it’s noticed. The garden in the deep night after God’s rapt silence has no breath. No echo even in the soon to be vacant tomb which no one yet has visited, no one seen, and yet everywhere his breathing, the turn begins, the blanket of sunrise in mist stretches to swaddle the earth, gouged and waiting. We are “hidden with Christ in God” we read in Colossians. As a human baby Christ was first hidden in Mary’s womb, and his birth brought God to meet the living face to face. In his death he was hidden in the tomb, and his resurrection gave life to the dead forever. Hesychius of Jerusalem, a fifth-century Orthodox monk, wrote, “In my journey I beheld a new wonder—an open tomb, a man risen from the dead, bones exulting, souls rejoicing, men and women refashioned, the heavens opened and powers crying out: ‘Be lifted up, you everlasting doors, that the king of glory may come in.’” The doors are open and the women, the first in the world to confront the empty tomb, rush to tell all.

Prayer: Lord God, we have died in our baptism and we hide in you, knowing that with you we will appear in glory. Refashion us in our resurrection to be people of justice and peace.  In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

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