April 23, 2011
My Realm of Death & God's Gift of New Life
When Mary of Magdala came to the tomb, "it was still dark." The physical darkness of nature is the symbol of her spiritual darkness.
Simon Peter and the other disciple also went to the tomb.
"It is as unbelievers that the two disciples turn toward the tomb"  .
They all look for the Risen Christ in the place of death.
In describing the various symbols of death, the writer of the Gospel uses the passive voice to indicate the action of God (the stone "removed," the burial cloths "rolled up"). This is so different with the description of Lazarus when he was raised back to life by Jesus. First, Jesus ordered the stone removed. Then, when Lazarus came out of his tomb, he was "tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth" (John 11:44)  .
And the disciples find the tomb empty.
The disciples had an excuse for going to the tomb because "they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead" (v. 9).
How about me? Am I still looking for the Risen Christ in the realm of death?
By God's grace, while we do not have the privilege of seeing the empty tomb, we have the testimony of the Scripture, God's living Word to us.
 Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., The Gospel of John, Sacra Pagina series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998; p. 519.
 Ibid.; p. 518-520.