Holy Week Reflection – Easter Eve

A Reflection on Mark 16. 5-7 by The Very Revd David Shearlock

As the disciples entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. But go, tell his disciples that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’

Since the Covid vaccine really took hold during February we’ve been greatly encouraged to believe that we have turned a corner and that the end is in sight. Yet now is not so much the beginning of the end but rather that we are now moving into a new (and different) phase. It must have seemed something like this for the first disciples of Jesus. The horror of his illegal arrest and trial, together with the sheer cruelty of his crucifixion and death, these must have seemed to them the extinction of all their hopes and longings.

All this was to change in a matter of hours as they slowly came to the realisation that, far from being the end, it was in fact the start of something new and very different. When the disciples went to the tomb on Easter morning the message they received was, ‘He is not here: he is risen’. The gradual emptying of those hospital beds is, in a lesser yet similar way, a sign of the dawning of a new light, an upwelling of hope.

Today is properly called Holy Saturday or Easter Eve. For us it is a day when we can give thanks that the Lord Jesus Christ has triumphed over death and is alive and with us always.

This striking picture Christ of St. John of the Cross is by Salvador Dali. It is well worth spending some time contemplating it with the crucified but risen Lord looking down on some Galilean fishermen.

Today’s Collect: Grant, Lord, that we who are baptised into the death of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ may continually put to death our evil desires and be buried with him; and that through the grave and gate of death we may pass to our joyful resurrection; through his merits, who died and was buried and rose again for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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