As we move through Holy Week, Bishop Ward reminds us to be vigilant in keeping our eyes on Jesus so we will be witness to the most surprising and astonishing moment in human history.
Grace and peace to you this Holy Week.
This is the week when Jesus is abandoned, denied, and betrayed, but not by everyone. Pay careful attention to John 19: 25. There at the foot of the cross remained his mother Mary, her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene. Along with abandonment, denial, and betrayal, there was vigilance. These three women remained at the foot of the cross.
This my friends is a week for vigilance – to keep our eyes upon Jesus, to bind ourselves ever more closely to Him and to His suffering for this whole groaning world. Some things are only experienced by the vigilant. We move on to the appointed text for Easter, from the Gospel of John, the first verse of John chapter 20. Very early in the morning, just at dawn, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and there she saw that the stone had been rolled away. The vigilance which we see in Mary gives way to the grand Easter surprise.
In the words of Kavin Rowe of Duke Divinity School, “She is surprised with the most surprising and astonishing moment in all of human history.” We also, as we are vigilant in this week, will experience the grand Easter surprise. The stone has been rolled away. The tomb is empty. Christ is alive forevermore.
Alleluia! Easter comes!