The angels were smiling when they said,
“Why do you seek the Living among the dead?”
We didn’t know the answer then,
Only that the corpse we came to serve was no longer where it had been.
Dead bodies tend not to move on their own,
Yet we moved our feet as fast as they could go
To tell the news that the angels gave,
And report that Jesus was no longer in His grave.
We knew He had died, for the Apostle John was an eyewitness
When the centurion pierced our Lord’s side to verify
Life had fled its temporal house,
But where was it living now?
We didn’t understand what our emotions implied –
Was hope trying to tell us that Jesus was alive?
Our questions were spinning around the room
As the reports continued pouring through.
Mary Magdalene declared she had seen Him alive at the tomb,
But had she been hysterical from grief?
Wishful thinking to say the least.
Then others came to tell of an encounter with a stranger
On the Emmaus road they claimed was true –
Who vanished before their eyes after supper –
Which is hard for an ordinary human to do.
We could still rationalize the testimonies as the
Psychological effects of grief, when in response to the sound
Of floorboards creaking beneath an additional pair of feet
That somehow had entered the room through the solid wall behind us –
We turned to see who had arrived when
The use of a door is required by most of us.
Jesus was smiling, relishing this moment in the wake of His grace,
To see the expressions of awe exquisitely etched upon each face –
That quickly dissolved into fear, for we had assumed
It was a ghost that had appeared!
Then like a gentle parent He convinced us His resurrection was real.
He showed us the wounds in His hands and feet,
And shared our food, for ghosts had never been known to eat.
Then the mood of the room swelled into a crescendo of wordless ecstasy,
For no one could speak through the sound of hearts throbbing,
And the effort of emotions absorbing so great a miracle,
Which was hard for us humans to do.
We were assimilating the reality of
And trying to comprehend that this miracle of resurrected life
Would someday be ours, too.
There are many religions in the world all striving to obtain
What they perceive as heaven.
But out of all the philosophies, and man-inspired ideologies
There can only be one Truth -
The evidence of Jesus’ empty tomb,
And the smile on our risen Savior’s face
That conquered death for me and you.
A one time for all time act of God, the One True God;
And let the sound of our applause reverberate throughout this life’s ragged stage
Until the whole world turns its weary gaze to behold
The only Way, Life and Truth –
Our Redeemer Lives.
Copyright 2012 by H.D. Shively
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