An Easter message by the World Communion of Reformed Churches.
As the world limps out of the COVID pandemic, the ravages of the pandemic have prised open already existing, deeply embedded injustices.
Globally, we are acutely aware of the deep inequalities of class, gender, and race that divide humanity and prevent us from living the abundant life that God calls us into. As we resist the urge to return to what was “normal,” we instead try to re-create a world that is founded on justice. It is in this context of not returning to normal that we are called to think outside the tomb.
This Easter calls us into a fresh start. While the women in the life of Jesus never deserted him the disciples have a different story to tell. In the gospel according to John, the first man to reach the empty tomb in this story does not have his name mentioned, but we can make a fairly good guess is the disciple John; being a younger man he was able to outrun Peter and reach the tomb first. We must remember that this was the same John who along with his brother James asked Jesus whether they would be allowed to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus when he entered into his “glory.” At that time Jesus had asked the both of them whether they would be willing to drink the cup that he was going to drink from and whether they would be willing to be baptized with his baptism. Both had willingly agreed at that time but when, the time of trial had come both disciples had shrunk from the task that they had promised. And what of Peter? His story is even more familiar, not only did he desert Jesus in his time of need but also was the one who openly denied Jesus.
One can’t help but wonder what these two disciples were thinking when they were running to that tomb; no doubt their minds were filled with disbelief, expectation, and excitement. But I also believe that they must have had that dread of having to now confront the person who they let down. It is significant though that in all the recorded meetings that they had with Jesus after his resurrection this is never an issue. In their meetings with the risen Christ the disciples and Peter and John in particular are offered a new beginning, a fresh start.