It was all over. By dint of incredible pleading, they’d managed to prevent the soldiers from feeding his broken body to the wild dogs. With pain filled faces they took him down from the cross, gently washed him, wrapped him in a shroud, and laid him in a borrowed tomb.
It was a better fate, they thought as they rolled the stone in front of the tomb, than being fed to the dogs; but not by much. The One who’d told them he had no place to lay his head, was still far away from home. When his flesh had decayed, his bones would not be gathered to those of his ancestors. Throughout eternity, no one would remember him.
All that day and the next, all was still. That is, all was still except the fear filled sobbing of his disciples, and the glad cries of those who’d sought his life. Then, in the last moments before the sun rose on the third day, there came a noise. At first the soldiers who guarded the tomb listened to it in amazement. Then they covered their ears and fell to the ground in terror. For angel voices, the ones who’d sang a wondrous pianissimo of beauty over the stable of Bethlehem, burst into a fortissimo of sheer, raw, unadulterated power. Blinding light sprang forth, not from the sun, but from the rocks themselves as the very stones rose up and pushed the stone away. And in a roar never before heard on earth, the chill bonds of death shattered forever.
Death became a joke in that moment. It can no longer win. Evil can no longer win. Darkness can no longer defeat light. And for all eternity the angel’s song rings through the heavens and in the hearts of those who open them to hear. “Christ is risen! Christ is risen! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!”