Do you like ice cream? Me too.
I was watching my 1-year-old nephew take a bite of this cold, icy and creamy substance. He let it sit on his tongue for moment. Soon after tasting it, his eyes lit up and he gestured for “more please!” Suddenly, I was his new favorite person and we had grown just a little bit closer.
Life is a series of relationships. Some of them close and tight knit, others of them entirely forgettable. The good ones are built one memory at a time – one moment of emotional investment in another person – and the cumulation of those experiences and memories comprise our life’s relationships.
On the third day, the women rose early to honor Jesus in death. They were not afraid of the soldiers, and they were not afraid of the angry, persecuting crowds. They were not even afraid of death or the smell of decay. They were motivated simply by a deep love and adoration for Jesus.
And, what does the grave typically hold? The grave holds someone who has been separated and imprisoned by death. The grave also holds someone who is somewhat defined by their life’s relationships.
But this grave? This grave was empty!
The stone was rolled away, the strips of linen abandoned, the body of the one they loved – gone! “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28:6)
The resurrected Christ still lives today. He is risen indeed.
My prayer is that Jesus’ resurrected life will not only shape how we invest in our relationships, but that it would also define our participation in God’s mission, and give each of us a sense of joy as recipients of that life.