“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.” Matthew 28:2
It’s my favorite detail from Matthew’s account of the resurrection. The angel rolled the stone back and sat on it. I picture him dangling his legs, giggling over the surprise he gets to share with the women. It’s a picture of playfulness, of joy and of confidence. The angel perched on the stone that had represented death, sorrow and finality. What does it represent now? Total victory! Jesus has conquered death, nothing can contain him, he is out and free and fully in charge.
The joy of Easter is not dampened by the events of today. Rather the reverse. Even as we are surrounded by threats of disease and death we do not lose heart. We know how this story ends. It ends with life, resurrection, eternal joy with our creator in heaven. It is that knowledge that allows us to persevere in the hard work of serving our neighbor during this time. We can persevere and not lose heart because we know the tomb is empty. We remember the angel dangling his legs over the rolled away stone. We may not be happy now, but our hearts are full of hope that comes from the joy of Easter.