Monday, January 30, 2012

Meditation XII -- Dead

the guards trembled and became like dead men.

As I read Matthew's narrative about Jesus' resurrection, my mind's eye is usually drawn to the followers of Christ and the effect that rising from the dead would have on them. How easily we can forget the other story.

Maybe we look at the scene with an "of course" sort of attitude. An earthquake happens. A dazzling being appears, moves the heavy stone from the entrance of the tomb, and sits on it, awaiting the women who will come to honor the Lord. Of course the guards would tremble. Of course they would be like dead men.

But then it is easy to forget them. We listen to the angel's proclamation and instructions to the women. Then we see Jesus who comforts the women. Then it is so easy to skip over to what believers call "The Great Commission."

But the guards were not dead, only like dead. They had to report what had happened. They too were witnesses, in some part, to the resurrection! And what happened when they told the chief priests? They were paid off and told to disseminate a false report, one that portrayed the disciples as criminals.

There are your dead men. Having seen the truth, having a miracle before them, they loved their own vision of the universe so much they not only chose to ignore the truth, but to spread the lie. And the lie, death, is what they chose to live with and to make disciples to.

Lord, let me not look at You and turn away. Give me strength and courage, when Your Truth proves my error, to leave those things that are not of You, and even if naked and alone, to run into your loving arms.