“while it was still dark” These five words jumped off the page at me this morning during Mass as I followed along with the priest. “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.”
While it was still dark. Mary came while it was still dark. The stone had been removed while it was still dark. Jesus had risen while it was still dark.
Somehow I’d always pictured Jesus’ resurrection taking place after sunrise, perhaps as the light peaked through the clouds and gently filtered through the rustling leaves. Or sometimes in my imagining it was a glorious light filled spectacle. Just as the brightest rays of the morning sun hit the tomb, the stone blew off in some dramatic way and Christ came forth. Son met sun.
But what hit me this morning was this: it was still dark. Christ’s resurrection is precisely what brought the light. It is His rising that brings day. It is His new life that ushers in the new creation. And it all begins when it is still dark. Morning didn’t signal Jesus to rise. Jesus signaled the new day by His rising!
Wow that sounds magnificent, but what does this mean for me and for you?
It means He brings light to our life while it is still dark. When we can’t find our way and are bogged down in blindness and not-knowing . . . He comes. Jesus comes into that darkness and brings His light.
It means He brings joy into our grieving hearts while it is still dark. When we are weighed down with sorrow or paralyzed by sadness . . . He comes. Jesus comes into our burdens and brings His hope.
It means He brings peace into our chaos while it is still dark. When we are twisted up in anxious knots and searching desperately for a secure place in the world . . . He comes. Jesus comes into our unrest and brings His calm.
Perhaps this Easter Sunday your circumstances and emotions are not cooperating and aligning with the joyous celebration of the day. Perhaps you find yourself still burdened by darkness, weighed down by sorrow, or riddled with anxiety. Do not fear. Christ comes while it is still dark.
We have these fifty days of Easter (and a lifetime if we need it!) for His light to dawn in our hearts. Welcome Him in though it may still be dark and let Him rise in you. Let Christ our light signal a new day in you.