Love is Stronger than Death – Reflection for Easter Sunday 2022

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 18:1-18

fra_angelico_resurrection

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

It is hard to say ‘Alleluia’ without smiling. If you manage to do so, something of the joy of the resurrection is lost. For even in the face of all that challenges us as individuals and as a world, Easter Sunday dawns and Christ is risen. As Christians, we are an Easter people because our faith is rooted in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are an Easter people and so ‘Alleluia’ is our song.

Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb when it is still dark. She is grief stricken and frightened. Jesus has been crucified and her world has been turned upside down. She is bewildered, shattered, lost. Mary Magdalene is walking through the darkest of days when unexpectedly she discovers the light and love of the risen Christ. ‘Mary! ‘Rabbouni!’ The resurrection is a gift that she neither seeks nor understands. On that first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene discovers that love is stronger than death. In the resurrection of Jesus, it is love that is the way to eternal life with God forever.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector

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