She ran, the tears coursing down her cheeks, the silent sobs racking her soul. The gentle light of dawn lit the path before her, painting the ground ahead of her with soft amber hues. So it was over. He was gone. Dead. She had watched him die with her own eyes; the blood streaming from his hands and feet where the wicked nails pierced them, the crown of thorns shoved cruelly into his brow.
He had hung there, hour after hour, above the mocking crowds and mourning followers. And His eyes! They had only ever been filled with love, understanding, forgiveness, sorrow--even as the jeers filled the air around His cross.
Until they went lifeless. For now her Lord was dead.
She had believed He was the One--she still knew He was, no matter what it looked like now. Yet she had seen them take His body down; seen the soldiers bear it away, bruised and limp. She had wrapped Him in clean white linen alongside the other women, anointed it with spices...yes, He was gone. Dead. She had watched Him die.
Now, here she was, hurrying along the path to the tomb where she had left Him. The Sabbath was over; it was time to finish the burial. A bundle of anointing herbs and spices was clutched to her chest, spilling fragrance. The tomb was just ahead.
The trees parted, and there it was. She slowed. The soldiers would be here, stiff and glowering. The huge stone would be there, blocking the cave. Guarding the grave of a dead man. Thinking about it, she almost laughed. Were they really so afraid that--She stopped short. Oh, no. It couldn't be.
The tomb. It was open. The soldiers, gone.
Now she was dropping her bundle, running to the tomb; into the dim coolness of the cave, around the corner to where the body would be--no! Yes! It was gone!--then out again into the bright sunshine, searching in utter despair.
She sank to the ground and wept. They had already taken His life away, could they not leave His body?
A man was coming towards her, and she lifted her tear-stained face. Her vision was blurred, and she tried to wipe her eyes.
"Woman, why do you weep?"
She was stuttering, barely able to speak. She could not even lift her head.
"Sir, someone has taken the body of my Lord, and I do not know where to find Him."
There was a silence for a split second, and then,
She lifted her face, and her eyes cleared.
He had risen. Oh, why had she doubted? For He was greater than the grave!
Happy Easter, friends. He rose, He is risen--and He lives. Rejoice!