He is not here. He is raised from the dead! Don’t you remember what he had told you while you were with him in Galilee? Luke is the one gospel where angels act as messengers to move people along to the next thing. In this particular case, graveyard angels came to move the people back into community to begin something that was very important to what was going to happen next. The community needed to remember what they had been taught so that they could go to proclaim it. But they needed to remember and to discover that Jesus was faithful to his word. After all, isn’t that why Peter went running to the tomb – to see if all this nonsense was really happening?
If there is something that we need to do in today’s Church, it is to experience Easter all over again for the first time. And we need to stop minimizing the reality of what happened that morning to discovering that Jesus was not in the tomb. We need to make it know that he was not there, he is raised from the dead and that he is with us and that his real and bodily presence with us makes all the difference in the world.
From that moment in the darken tomb and then walking out into the early morning light – there is a change. The old has gone and the new has come. Yes there is still evil in the world and there tragedies along with violence and disease. And at the same time we note that there is now something different going on. Suddenly, at least from our perspective, the dead don’t stay dead anymore. The dead can live again. The things which had been cast down are being raised up and the things that had grown old are being made young and again. Most importantly all things are being drawn again to God and being perfected through Christ, through whom all things were made. And most of all there is hope – a holy certain hope that we will live with God in his kingdom.
Where do you see the risen Jesus this morning? Where do you see him in this community, this Church, this congregation? Can we not see him in one another and thought he breaking of bread? No church can survive by hiding behind lock doors and drawn curtains: we need to be reminded as often as it takes that Jesus in not in the grave – he is risen! And because he is risen there is more to come in terms of life, identity, and creation. All we need do is go and live it with Jesus and in Jesus. Let us do so in his name.