By Not Known
Have you ever been in an earthquake? It’s a frightening experience, even if the
earthquake is small. There are loud noises and the earth seems to shake and roll
for eternity. Everything is thrown off-balance, people and object are tossed
about like playthings and simple activities like moving to shelter become
Matthew records two Easter earthquakes. The first was when Jesus died
According to Matthew, the temple curtain tore, the earth shook, the rocks split,
the tombs opened and the dead returned to life (Mt 27:51-53). The second
earthquake was when an angel came from heaven with the news that Jesus was
raised (Mt 28:2).
There was another earthquake – an inner one. The onlookers suddenly found their
view of Jesus and the world turned upside-down.
The tough-minded military men who guarded the tomb on the Friday exclaimed
that the ‘criminal’ they had executed was indeed God’s Son (Mt 27:54). The
Sunday guards were so afraid that they shook and became like dead men (Mt
28:3). The women at the tomb had a mix of fear, joy and worship (Mt 28:8-9).
How does the resurrection affect you? Is it like the report of a distant earthquake
that leaves you shaken but not stirred? Or is it like an earthquake where you are
on the scene: at once frightened, fascinated and transformed?
The women show us what it means to be transformed by the Easter earthquakes
They were told to see, go and tell (Mt 28:6-7). They were to see for themselves
and verify in their experience that Jesus was raised. Then they were to go, for
the resurrection is a call to action not passivity. And they were to tell, for news
this good is not to be kept to ourselves.
All this meant a new view of Jesus, themselves and life’s purpose. As we read on
into Acts we can see how the women and those who followed them in faith never
stop talking about the resurrection and were prepared to suffer for it. Life was
now to be lived with freshness, hope and new possibilities, as they entered into
the resurrection experience. And everything they did was under the shadow of
heaven’s certain hope.
May God send such an earthquake of our souls this Easter. And may we see, go