Easter Sunday – April 4, 2021

EastB21.    Easter Vigil – Mark 16:1-7.  The three devoted women arrived at the tomb just as the sun had risen to anoint Jesus’ body to find that the very large stone at the entrance had been rolled back.  A young man dressed in white, traditionally understood to be an angel, said to them, “Do not be amazed!  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.  He has been raised; he is not here.”  The angel tells them to tell Jesus’ disciples and Peter that the risen Jesus will go to see them in Galilee.

Easter Day – John 20:1-9.  Mary of Magdala tells Peter and John that it appears that some unknown people have taken Jesus’ body away to some unknown place.  Peter and John run to find that indeed the tomb was empty; however, “they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”  Only later when they see the glory of the risen Lord do they come to a full realization of what had happened.

Vigil Night – Romans 6:3-11.  “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” Easter time is the time to remember our baptism and renew our baptismal vows.  This image of baptism comes from the baptism of emersion where one is submerged beneath the waters as a symbol of death to then rise up from the waters as a symbol of resurrection.  “Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living to God in Christ Jesus.”  Easter Day – Colossians 3:1-4.   “Brothers and sisters:  If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” Our whole mindset and our inner emotional being is geared by the world we are immersed in and the material bodies that we live in, to act, think and be creatures of the natural world and not people who are on our way to heaven, our real and eternal home.  The Holy Spirit enables us to breathe a spiritual life, even while our material bodies breathe the life of this world.  God empowers those who choose to live spiritually in him to live heavenly, holy lives, even while we still live in a natural, material world.

Easter Day – Acts of the Apostles 10:34a, 37-43. The Apostles were loyal to Jesus but the crucifixion shook their faith to the core.  Jesus’ appearance after the resurrection and the inflowing of the Holy Spirit into their lives moved them from people of this world with one foot planted in this world and one foot planted in God’s world to being people with both feet  planted in God’s world.  By the Spirit’s grace they were moved to becoming God’s people for whom their lives were based on God living in them.  They belonged to nothing else but the Lord.  They became witnesses to the salvation God brings to all humanity.  May we be the same!