The air was still and the sun was just peeking over the horizon, bathing the sky in a lavender hue. She heaved a heavy sigh as she hugged her sack of spices to her chest, its pungent scent filling the air as they walked the dusty path.
The women with her were silent, which was a relief to her weary heart. What more could be said? He was dead. Their hopes and dreams dashed as his life gave way to death.
How would life ever be the same? How could she go on without the one who gave her such hope?
She stifled the sob that threatened to undo her. She must be strong like the other women. Though silent, none of them were wallowing in grief as she wanted to do. She kept her head down, eyes on the path in front of her.
They neared the tomb and she finally looked up. The stone! Someone had rolled the stone away! Lurching ahead of the women, she ran to the tomb.
Who would steal her Lord? Who would dare?
Heart hammering in her chest, she stopped at the opening of the tomb, dust billowing all around her, making it hard to see. She stepped forward, then gasped.
He was gone, just as she feared.
She was jostled further in as the other women strained to see as well. Their cries of anguish filled her ears and she tried to make sense of the empty tomb.
A shift in the shadows to the right sent a shiver down her spine. She looked and suddenly a man in a white robe, gleaming in radiance appeared, sitting to the right of where the body should be.
They all cried out and sank to their knees in fear.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
Just as suddenly as he appeared, the man disappeared from their sight. No one moved, and all was silent except for their labored breathing. She looked around at the faces of the women around her, their eyes wide, just as hers probably were.
He has risen!
A smile stole across her face. He has risen. She put her hands to her face, her grin unstoppable.
He was alive!
“Come on! Let’s go tell the disciples!” She grabbed the hand of one of the women, pulling her from the tomb. “What good news we have to share. He is alive!”
She laughed, her heart full. Her hope restored.
Jesus is alive, the Giver of hope, the Teacher of all wisdom, the Bestower of peace.
Have a blessed Easter.