“Risen!”

Risen

Easter Sunday

Written by Brittany Holberg, as part of a series of Lenten reflections, “The Mustard Seed”. Click HERE to view the full booklet of her writings.

"Risen!" 1

It wasn’t possible! How could what Mary just told them possibly be true? After all he had just witnessed… how? The ‘how’ would not matter if he could just see for himself, and that desire alone prompted him to run faster than he ever had. Faster even than Peter, who was far superior in every physical sense. He ran with a speed born from passion that could not be surpassed, and as he ran the images of his Lord hanging from the cross filled his mind. He’d been there for it all, witnessed every brutal moment. He’d helped lower his limp body from the cross and felt the warmth of life leaving it. He knew the truth of what had happened in such an intimate way… so how?

Reaching the tomb first, he was barely able to stop his own momentum at the entrance. The stone had been rolled away, and stooping down, he peered inside the small darkened space. It took a minute for his eyes to adjust, but once they had he could not believe what he was seeing. He was gone! His Lord was gone and all that remained were the linen cloths He had been so lovingly wrapped in.

Behind him, he heard Peter approaching. He could hear the scuffling of his sandals as they fought for purchase on the rocky path. He could hear Peter’s deep labored breathing as he pushed past and walked boldly into the tomb. He’d been a coward for the last time, and this boldness was an open display of the regret he was consumed with.

John watched as Peter walked closer to where their Lord’s body had been. He saw the range of emotions passing over his rugged features as he took in the linen wrappings lying there. It was as if their Lord had simply walked out of them. Lying off to the side was the cloth that had covered Jesus’ beaten and bloody face. It seemed to have been carefully folded and placed there. This was no robbery. Had that been the case this scene would have been very different. But more, they just knew. They knew in a way that went deeper than any burden of proof. The very words He had spoken to them echoed within their hearts. This was it… this was what he’d meant. He would rise from the dead, conquering it and ushering in the kingdom He had promised.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine all John and Peter witnessed that early morning as they stood inside of the tomb. Imagine their eyes taking in the discarded remains that were left behind as His words played back in their hearts and minds. It had been true, all of it. He’d risen from the most gruesome death, a death no one could deny. A death He had endured not only for them but for you and I as well. Right here, right now, we too are standing inside of the tomb and feel the truth flowing within us. He has risen!!

Brittany Holberg is an Oblate of the Sisters of the Morning Star. She is a resident on Texas Women’s Death Row.

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