And He did; though it breaks our minds, He did. The tomb is empty, Peter’s face white like linen; Mary smiles and hearts are soon on fire; there’s no reason why the broken, wounded, disappointed ones should laugh and leap and heal the sick unless He burst forth from the tomb and said, I am always with you, and breathed His spirit into them; unless some cosmic shift took place within all that we know is true, unless He showed His hands and feet and said, Now be my hands and feet, unless the fiery risen Christ met them in their homes and said Don’t fear, unless He rose up from the grave and conquered death – He did.
“It’s true: the Author of life lay dead, Lay three days inside death’s tomb, The Righteous and the Holy One Made Himself an offering to Ignorant, unrighteous men Who knew not what they did. It’s true, for we are witnesses; We saw Him breathe and saw Him die And saw Him rise again and eat Fish and bread among us, He Who made the fish swim, made grain grow And lay dead on a tree. Look: the one who makes bones live And opens blinded eyes has made The lame man walk along with us, And you too must receive The gift of faith, the gift of life, The gift of utter joy.” The lame man clinging onto them Saw the stares of men who knew Everything yet nothing too. “Times of refreshing may come to you,” Peter said, the tail’s sting Hanging in the wind: For everything was done for them And nothing they could give, Every debt was paid and all Faith was theirs to take, Yet some there were who still would not Die that they might live.
We had seen him do the same as this – men on mats, lame from their birth, men born blind, women who bled, rubbing mud into their eyes, ordering their legs, “Now walk!” And always we saw this response: the broken ones arising, healed, the order of their bones arranged to be now as it should, that way he had of taking atoms and changing their whole course. And yet we had not understood, until we saw Him breaking bread – an action so domestic, yet unexpected, being dead, and then, I think, we understood, how every promise of the Word was somehow in His nail-scarred hands so bodies must respond to Him as clay in potters’ hands. And slowly there dawned in our minds the knowledge that just as He said “Get up and walk”, he could too say “Your sins are now forgiven”, and “Arise now from the grave.”
See Him arise Much brighter than the skies Victory in the eyes Of great David’s greater Son… He breaks the stones of lies, Unties The shackles we put on; Dark Hades He defies, Decries The plots of the shame-faced ones. Before their eyes He takes His rightful prize, Swift, majestic, like the sun. See Him arise Much brighter than the skies Victory in the eyes Of great David’s greater Son!
Day ending, night on its way, they walk, Hearts thick with the talk of the days before, Of expectation reversed and destroyed, Disappointment turned to confusion, To rumours and gossip of empty tombs. A stranger walks beside them, asking for news. Yet he knows the story from its genesis And shows them snakes crushed by heels And mountains where death is destroyed, While their hearts burn slowly within them.
Eyes cannot trust what they see, for here He sees the place where the body lay, Sees the cloths that should have bound him, Sees the certainty of light and sees the day, Yet sees no body trapped within this tomb. Run home, for this makes no sense. It stands Against all that you ever thought or knew. Your eyes make your other senses fools And cause your heart to hope that what The rooster heard might be reversed…
Outside weeping, for this makes no sense, Dawn slowly clawing its way out of the sky, Mary’s name dropping from the stranger’s lips, Mary’s eyes blinking open at the sound, While Peter, in the background, runs home, confused. Rabbouni! The disciple’s earnest, light-bulb cry, Arms wrapped around the one who had been lost; The frantic fear that this, like dew, might fade away. Yet he has arms and can be held. He lives. (No heart could hope so wild a thing as this.)