Easter is the most joyous event in Christian History. It is the moment when Jesus Christ finally destroyed the bonds that chain men to eternal damnation. It is the moment when the risen Lord broke the power of death. This is the reason why Easter Sunday is one of the most joyous Christian celebrations. People around the world; either they are Protestants, Orthodox, or Catholics join in one accord to celebrate to resurrection of God. One look at the photos taken around the world and you will see how many people revere this holy event.
Unfortunately, I am one those who are stuck in Black Saturday. While all the people around me celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, I still feel that my faith is inadequate to welcome Jesus Christ when he went out of His. I feel that I haven’t loved Him enough or obeyed Him enough. I am not worthy to be part of the welcoming party for Jesus Christ.
There is one event in the Easter story that I like the most. That portion of the Gospel was narrated by Saint John the Beloved Apostle:
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him."
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and what he told her.
What I like with this narrative is the reaction of Mary Magdalene when she recognized Jesus Christ. She exclaimed “Rabbouni”. I can feel the great joy of Mary when she recognized Jesus. Rabbouni! Rabbouni! Rabbouni! I can almost hear her heart shouting. How I yearn to exclaim like Mary. How I yearn to shout to the whole world that I finally found the Lord. “Rabbouni!”
The reply of Jesus is equally outstanding. "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father…” Our Lord didn’t want Mary to hold on to Him yet He let her recognize Him. How great His love is for those who are seeking Him! In His mercy, He allowed Mary Magdalene to see Him so as to replace her sorrow with great joy.
I believe that Jesus Christ does the same thing for all of us. None of us here on earth are worthy to touch Him yet He still allows us to find Him. In His mercy, he allowed us, wretched sinners to recognize Him to replace the sorrow of sin with the gladness of hope for the eternal.
My Lord is doing the same thing for me. Though still clinging to the sorrow of my sinfulness, Jesus has come to bring Easter to my life. The only question is when will I open my eyes and recognize Him.