John 20:1-18; Mark 16:1-8
We have just read the Johannine description of the scene at the tomb, we did not read Mark this morning, but it has something to tell us too. Mark's story tells us about the women, Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of Joses, and Salome who are walking to the tomb and afraid of how they will move the rock once they arrive. Well they get to the tomb and there is a man dressed in white. He tells them not to fear, Jesus is risen, go and tell all. They leave and are fearful and tell no one. Not exactly a bright ending.
This does tell us something about our Easter experiences. They are all different. We come to Easter Day and expect to hear things about death and new life, but some of us are still reeling and struggling with death itself. Just like the women in Mark are silent so are some of us as we struggle with loss.
Some of us come to Easter like Mary in John, so blinded by our grief we don't recognize Jesus standing right in front of us. Then when we do we are so overwhelmed by joy we want to hold onto him all by ourselves. Just our own little encounter.
We read Matthew's account last night and the women are so overjoyed at the message from the angel they run from the tomb. Then they encounter Jesus on the road and worship him. Some of us have been set free, free from addiction, free from abuse, free from burdens and we come to Easter with our hearts full of worship.
Some of us come to Easter with disbelief in our hearts. We can't quite fathom what all the fuss is about. We can't understand what has happened, but we know there's something working in us. In Luke the women go to the tomb and encounter two angels who give a message of Jesus not being there. Go and tell the disciples. They do and they are not believed.
You see Easter has a means different things to all of us because we have all had different experiences in life. Different ways that we came to the tomb. Different ways we react to the news that Jesus is not here, he is risen. Risen in our lives to break chains, risen to give new life, risen in spite of our doubt, risen even if we can't say a word because we are consumed in grief.
The thing is this gives us a rich way to go forward from our Easter Day. Whether in silence, in joy, in worship, in our hearts. Jesus is somewhere. We just need to find where.