That Easter Morn
President Thomas S. Monson, in the recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reflected on that Easter morn nearly 2,000 years ago.
After the Savior was crucified and His body had lain in the tomb for three days, the spirit again entered. The stone was rolled away, and the resurrected Redeemer walked forth, clothed with an immortal body of flesh and bones.
The answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” came when Mary and others approached the tomb and saw two men in shining garments who spoke to them: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.”
From Luke 24:
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen….
And [they] returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
The account in Matthew adds that the angel told the women to: “go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”
I love the piece above by Rose Datoc Dall (shared with her permission — you can read more about the creation of this piece on her blog). I love the urgency with which she portrays the women going to share the glorious news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ with His disciples.
Rose shares these thoughts:
I am intrigued that the first witnesses of the Resurrected Savior were women, who arose early to go to the garden tomb that Easter morning to anoint the body of Jesus. They then beheld the angels telling them to go quickly to tell the disciples that He is risen. I wanted to depict that moment of anxious awe and wonder while they were on that errand, at the very first issuance of the glad news which would roll forth thenceforth and change the world.
Glad news indeed!
Within each person or group of people mentioned in the Easter story, there is much to ponder. What can we learn from the story of the women? Of the apostles? Of the men on the road to Emmaus? Of others?
I’m looking at the story differently than I ever have, seeing truths folded within it that I’d never woven together. Within the chapters in Matthew and Luke, some of the things I see include a testimony of the reality of angels, and the importance of prophets and scriptures. (It’s interesting to me to see how Jesus — the giver of and focus of scripture — used scripture Himself when teaching others about His mission.) Echoing what Rose said, I see a testimony of the importance of women in God’s plan, and the reality of a spiritual witness of Jesus’s divinity that can be received in one’s heart. This chapter testifies that Jesus has a body of flesh and bone. I also see a pattern of how it’s common in our human nature to fear and sometimes to doubt, but how knowledge of the living Jesus is the answer to fear and doubt.
I also see how Jesus works through imperfect people, both men and women, to accomplish His work.
I love the Savior, Jesus Christ, and am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the Easter story today.