I like to consider that first Easter morning and the grand event of Resurrection-a permanent and holy state where corruption and sickness, death and physical pain no longer exist. On that first Easter morning, the ordinance of Resurrection was an intense and joyous ending to an intense and difficult drama.
Imagine the feelings of the men and women who shared our Savior’s walk in mortality. In a matter of a few days He went from exemplar and miracle-worker, protector and teacher to martyr, Savior, Mediator and Advocate with the Father. While these new roles were vital and embodied the very purpose for which our Savior came, they were also difficult to completely comprehend in the moment that they were happening. In a quick (but foretold) turn of events, Judas had sold the Savior to the Jewish Sanhedrin. Peter, James and John had slumbered while He endured the crushing pain of Gethsemane. Peter then denied knowing Christ three times while Christ stood illegal interrogation. He was scourged with whips and metallic shards to appease a throbbing mob who then ignored the pleas for mercy in His behalf and called instead for crucifixion-a seemingly permanent end to this man, this maverick, who dared destroy beloved dogma. In the grief of losing their friend, their confidant, their most beloved and trusted mentor, their Messiah, many saints failed to understand what He meant when He told them that He would rise again on the third day.
What He had asked them to do was revolutionary and new-a turning away from old things, a bringing in of the new wine. And it had been risky, scary, but doable while He was alive…but now what? He was dead! Had they been wrong about Him? Was their decision to leave their nets and follow Him the stupidest decision of their lives? And wasn’t he just a man…Joseph’s son? And if He wasn’t just man, what was He doing here on earth walking among mere mortals? And why didn’t He save himself from that horrible death? And if He really were the Son of God-what did that really mean? To stand with the Savior in those last hours was to stand alone. The Law of Moses had been the standard for centuries and now suddenly that law was fulfilled and a new Law was established. Did the disciples not wonder how to carry on in the new law? It was a complete paradigm shift for them-and most of their fellow Jews were not taking hold of the new law. Could they possible be the ones in the wrong? Some of these terrifying thoughts had to have permeated the minds of our Savior’s friends in the hours just before and after His death. And yet they were allowed to grieve, to sift through their pain, to ask their terrifying questions and to feel the emptiness of life without Him. So that on Resurrection morning they, too, could be brought back to life and truly, truly feel the joy of conquered death. And then, in the Light of His presence again, the understanding could come-the understanding that woven through all of the events of His ministry; woven through all of the pain of His Atonement; woven through all of the joy of His Resurrection was one common thread- His love. It shone from the moment He accepted the role as Savior in pre-mortality until He appeared to Mary in the Garden Tomb as a resurrected being. And that Love is still woven through every one of our lives today. The Love of our Savior, Jesus Christ is the story of Easter.