Morning is my favorite time of the day. It’s so peaceful, quiet; the birds wake and start singing. I especially love the beautiful golden glow of the sunrise on the trees, ocean, lakes, grass and flowers, dispelling the darkness of the night. I imagine it was such a morning in Jerusalem long ago. As dawn was breaking and the morning sun was ready to cast its golden rays to light up the city, Mary Magdalene and the other faithful women, who followed Jesus from Galilee, were making their way up to the place where they laid him, after his death. They were lovingly carrying a mixture of special spices, such as spikenard, myrrh, aloes and fragrant oils (John 12:3-7, 19:39, Luke 23:56), they had quickly prepared just before the Sabbath started, a couple days before. They had seen how Jesus’ body was hurriedly wrapped up and laid in the tomb, for lack of time. They wanted to honor him by preparing his body for burial in the proper way. Understandably, they were worried that they wouldn’t be able to roll the stone away. I’ve seen the grave stones in Israel. I know I wouldn’t be able to move it without some help. They were startled and frightened by a sudden rumbling noise. They stumbled to the ground by the shaking earth beneath them. It was a great earthquake. After regaining their balance, they were glad that their jars of ointment were still in tact. So, they drew near. A strange brilliant light was shining. It was brighter than the rising sun. The stone was rolled away! The guards were stunned! Their fear grew. As their eyes adjusted to the brilliant light, they saw the Angel. He gently said to them, as he held out his hand, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.” Instantly, great joy rushed in their hearts, dispelling their fear and sadness. Then they saw Him! He has risen! He has risen, indeed!
May you, also, experience great joy in knowing the living Risen Savior this Resurrection Sunday, as well. (My thoughts were taken from Matthew 28:1-8. 1 Corinthians 15 is also a great chapter to read on this subject.)
A couple weeks ago, Peter and I were up in North Florida for a week long Bible conference. We got up to catch the sunrise one morning with camera in hand. These are some of my favorites from that beautiful morning.