I love the collect for today, Tuesday in Easter Week:
O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be dominion and praise for ever and ever. Amen.
It’s pretty simple. There’s not a lot of flowery language to it. But it gets Easter in a great, distilled way. Resurrection = destroyed death + [life & immortality] à light. As a chemistry major, I can’t bear to see that silly little scribble, but I love how the collect just says is. Jesus’ resurrection has destroyed death, and it has brought life and immortality to light.
It’s as if life was lying in the shadows, waiting to be brought out into plain view. When Jesus was raised from the dead, he brought immortality out of the darkness of the tomb with him and shares it with all of us. That which was hidden is now seen. Perhaps it was there all along in our created image, but we got to the place where we couldn’t even see it. Now that Jesus has passed from death to life, we see what was near us but inaccessible all along—immortality and life.
As Mary Magdalene looks into the empty tomb, weeping, she is standing inches away from God’s victory over sin and death, but she can’t see it. It brushes past her face, and she can tell that something is going on but knows not what. But, when Jesus speaks her name and she hears his voice, the reality becomes clear. All her fear and sadness are blown away by a realized encounter with the risen Lord. In that moment, as she hears her name said by Jesus, she experiences Easter. The tomb may have been empty before, but she didn’t know the resurrection until it found her.
We’ve got fifty days to hear the call. Actually, we’ve got longer than that—perhaps a whole lifetime. When will Easter become real to us? When will we experience the victory of the empty tomb as a personal encounter? When will we behold the life and immortality that have been brought into the light for us to see?