If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
[1 Corinthians 15:17]
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ of the Northeastern Ohio Synod,
As we prepare for the three days that climax in the Resurrection of our Lord, I think often about how different that first Easter morning was, when there were no hallelujahs, no trumpets, no jubilation. There were only women, how many depends on which gospel version you read, who had come to anoint Jesus' body, because it had not been done before his burial. On the way, they were wondering who would roll away the heavy stone that covered the tomb. They arrive to find the stone already rolled away and the tomb empty, except for, as Mark's Gospel tells us, "A young man, dressed in a white robe."
He tells them that Jesus, who was crucified, has been raised. The young man then encourages the women to go and tell Jesus' disciples that Jesus has gone to Galilee and will meet them there. However, the most ancient versions of Mark's Gospel end at verse eight: "So they fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid."
But note that even had the story ended there, the fact was proclaimed that Jesus had been raised. The tomb was empty. In spite of the women's silence, death did not have the last word, which explains why others added on to the story.
Good stories, whether we read them in the Bible or hear them told by others, have the power to change lives and change history. We all have stories to tell. As Christians, we have stories about how God changes us, uses us, and blesses us when we worship, obey, and love God. When we tell our stories, we must acknowledge that God is not a character in our story but rather that we are a beloved character in God's story. God asks us to tell God's story and gives us rich material from the Bible, history, and personal experience to help us do so.
This is not the end, it is only the beginning. Go and tell the good news that Christ is
He is risen indeed!
Bishop Abraham Allende