Easter is the most important day on the Christian calendar. Without a resurrection, there is no hope of eternal life and death was not conquered. To Jesus’ disciples and followers, all was lost the day He died.
Can you imagine how they felt as His lifeless body was taken down from the cross? He was gone… and with Him all hopes of a conquering Messiah and a victorious kingdom. Now, we realize that the kingdom Jesus proclaimed was not an earthly one but a spiritual one in the hearts of men. That wasn’t their mindset. They couldn’t see beyond the here and now. Not only had they lost their teacher and miracle worker, but they had lost their hope as well.
I have long been fascinated with Mary Magdalene in Matthew 27:57-61. Jesus had died and Joseph of Arimathea had been given His body for burial. “…Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.” She had followed His ministry through miracles and teaching. She had cared for Him and served him. Then, painfully watched the trials and crucifixion. Jesus had been the air she breathed and now in a day’s time, He was gone. What must she have been thinking as she watched His tomb? “…Where am I to go? What am I to do? Will I ever know such love and acceptance again?” Of course, she didn’t know that the greatest miracle of all eternity was yet to come.
All she could deal with was the loss of Jesus. Yet… even in the midst of her grief she held on to His love. Perhaps it was love that caused her to sit opposite the tomb. She had seen love’s finest expression and she wanted to stay nearby. “The Greater the Sacrifice, the Greater the Love.”