We travel through the darkness of Holy Week and Christ’s suffering with the joys of Easter resurrection in view. Jesus, the true Passover lamb, has been sacrificed for our sin, and the words spoken by Job thousands of years before are fulfilled. Job’s redeemer and ours is alive, and though our current body will die, God will give us a new one and we shall see Him with our own eyes. The impossible has happened, and the witnesses are overwhelmed. We look forward to Easter alleluias as we travel through the sadness of Passion week, just as we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the joys of heaven as we go through the trials of earthly life.
The Old Testament lesson is from the book of Job, chapter 19, verses 23-27:
“Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
The Epistle lesson is from 1 Corinthians, chapter 5, verses 6-8:
Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The Gospel for the Resurrection of Our Lord is from Mark, chapter 16, verses 1-8:
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Brooklyn Museum – The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ)
Benjamin West [Public domain]