Readings: Mark 16: 1-8
Jesus Christ Risen is hope and life now. Hope and life today.
Before the birth of God’s Word made flesh, prophets saw and his mother sang that this one would come to bring God’s promised justice to the world.
In this one, in Jesus Christ, all people would have life, the hungry would be fed and the rich sent away. Those with power would be overthrown and the poor, the out-cast, and the voiceless would be lifted up.
Jesus is the one whom the prophets said was sent, empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, to bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted. He was to give sight the blind, to proclaim release to the captives, He was the one who would emancipate the exploited, giving voice to the voiceless ones of the world.
Jesus is hope and life for the powerless, the voiceless, the cast-aside.
Our world, still today, is crying for this one. Just as we saw last week around Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Our world shouts, “Hosanna, save us now,” save us from the grip of greed and self-gain—save us from these death dealing powers that run our lives. Jesus is the mighty one of God who is to overthrow these powers.
Power, in this world, is used to get ahead. Jesus shows us a different way to use power. And any voice which challenges the status quo of private success and personal security is quickly labeled and condemned—silenced by those for whom the current state of the world is working, or for whom at least the “known” is less ominous than the “unknown.”
Power, it has been so engrained in us, is for personal gain, and achieved most easily through violence.
We know that violence speaks. Violence controls. Power to us is the ability to silence one’s opponents and continue rising to the top, stockpiling wealth, and security without limit.
And we know the ways of violence so well that senseless violence—violence that doesn’t even seek to exert control in the end—is sought as means to cope with stress, with loneliness, with the pressure exerted by the deathly forces Jesus came to oppose.
Where is Jesus, who came to defeat the powers of death, and bring life and voice to those without?
The one to whom the powerless shout “Hosanna, save us,” who brought the message of love and life for especially the rejected ones, He was mocked and shamed; put to death—for humanity’s answer to the message of love and equality which challenges the status quo has always been the selfish cry, “No. Crucify him!”
Last week’s March—the gatherings that took place around Palm Sunday—exhibited the embodiment of the cry of the brokenhearted. It was the voiceless—literally those without vote and say in what happens—rallying to shout “Hosanna, Save us Now!” against those who hold power, against humanity’s persistent cry to crucify, silence opposition to injustice, and exert power with violence.
Where is the one who was to liberate the world, bringing God’s promised reign of justice?
He was in Jerusalem, was arrested by the ones in power, He spoke for God and on behalf of the despised, he cried for change so he was crucified, and buried in a tomb.
The women went to the tomb, the place where they know Jesus should be, and they found it empty.
You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, God in flesh, come to bring life and hope to the hopeless, the one to whom the world shouts, Hosanna, save us”…the one crucified for loving the lost and demanding a new way that honors the despised. He is has been raised. He is not here.
Jesus has gone ahead. Meet him in Galilee, like he told you. He is on the move.
Jesus is not here. He is out where the hungry are receiving their banquet. Jesus is over there, where those captive to violence and fear are calling for liberation.
Jesus is marching the streets where God’s people are shouting “Hosanna, save us Now!” and demanding change, demanding life, demanding to be heard.
He is not here, Jesus is on the move. Are we ready to follow?
The church calls itself the “body of Christ.” Well, Christ’s body is not at the tomb. Jesus is ahead of you, in Galilee, bringing the message of God’s justice—the care for the poor, the healing of the sick, the befriending of the outcast.
He is ahead of you in Galilee, proclaiming the right use of power, the humility of the proud for the sake of the restoration of the wretched.
Christ is Risen. He is Risen, Indeed! And he has gone ahead to Galilee. His victory over death is now.
We do not find him at his tomb, nor wait for him at our own.
We find him, today, in Galilee—where our weakness is God’s strength, our foolishness, God’s wisdom, and death is turned to life.
He is on the move.
Christ is Risen. He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!