Scripture – Matthew 28:1-10 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him, the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Meditation: Christ, our Lord, is risen today! Amen! Glory to God!
Dream Works Studio released the animated film, The Croods, in 2013. The film is about a Neanderthal family that hides in the darkness of a cave. Grug, the father, protects the family by the rules he has learned to survive in a dangerous world. One day, a sudden earthquake collapses their cave.
When the family climbs over the wreckage, they discover a land with lush vegetation, much different from their usual surrounding of rocky terrain. As they head out into this new world, all Grug cares about is finding a new cave to hide his family to keep them safe from a dangerous world.
Along the way, they are joined by Guy, a young man with bright ideas, who accompanies them on their trip.
One day, Guy tells the family a story about a girl who was told she could go anywhere she wanted, but never to go near the cliff. But when no one was looking, she’d go near the cliff for the closer she came to the edge, the more she could hear, the more she could see, the more she could feel. Finally, she stood at the very edge. She saw light. She leaned out to touch it, and she slipped … and instead of falling into an abyss, she flew to a place called “Tomorrow.” A place with more suns in the sky than one can count. A bright place. A place not like today or yesterday, a place where things are better.
Grug rejects the notion of a bright place because he can’t see it. Guy reassures him that Tomorrow is real and that Tomorrow is the place where he is going.
Just before reaching their destination, an earthquake opens a deep ravine in their path. The group must get across because the ground beneath them is crumbling under their feet. The land across the chasm is not fully visible, but a glimmer of light peeks through the thick cloud of dust, and Grug sees the light for the first time and believes in Tomorrow. Ugga, Grug’s wife, panics and says to Grug, “Listen to me. We’ve got to get back to a cave.”
Grug’s heart is now transformed. He sees and believes the light of Tomorrow exists. He is no longer afraid. Turning to Ugga, he resolutely says, “No more darkness. No more hiding. No more caves. What’s the point of all this? To follow the light. Right now, that’s all you need.”
Grug throws each of his family members across the ravine and eventually gets himself to the other side. The family discovers an ocean-like area where the sun goes down over the sea. They settle down in this safe paradise-like environment. There is no more need to be overprotective; the family can now live with freedom and adventure.
Friends, Easter is a story of Tomorrow that makes us alive with God’s resurrection power to live with freedom and hope today. Jesus announced Tomorrow (the Kingdom of God) was to come, and, he said, Tomorrow is already at hand, already operative in our hearts. Tomorrow is a compelling vision that empowers us to live today free from the dark caves of sorrow, despair, fear, and sin we hide in. Tomorrow is a compelling vision that invites us to go the edge of what we know, where we see Christ’s light, step out with faith and fly. Tomorrow is so exciting that we can’t stop ourselves from helping others to see it for themselves, inviting them to join us in walking toward the glimmering light of Tomorrow, today.
Jesus Christ, Our Lord, is risen today! He waits for us Tomorrow … and walks with us today until we get there!
He is risen, indeed!