What a scene confronts the women in Matthew’s Gospel when they go to the tomb!
A violent earthquake; an angel who roles away the stone from the tomb – his face like lightening, his robe white as snow- the guards were like dead men and the dead man was alive but not like a terrifying zombie instead full of love – “Greetings do not be afraid”. This is a new world order.
This same Jesus who we placed in a tomb- who died such a horrible and unjust death because of the treachery and betrayal of his friends; because of the misuse of power by the strong over the weak; because of a system of justice that gave no justice to the poor man and the powerless, who died because of the jealousy and resentment of petty church officials who were affronted by Jesus invitation to the poor and to sinners to relate directly to God as their father; this same Jesus has returned amongst us.
And there is no talk of reprisals, no call to arms to get fitting revenge on those who murdered him, not a word of condemnation for his so called friends who abandoned him at the time of his greatest need – not even a bit of righteous indignation – no simply this “greetings do not be afraid” go and tell my brothers they must leave for Galilee, they will see me there.
No wonder the earth quaked- this is indeed a new earth- the ways of the world treachery, betrayal, sinfulness, cowardice, resentment, selfishness, jealousy, violence and death have no power. This earth changing event has rendered all of those things powerless.
The innocent victim will no longer be despatched; the murdered will not stay in their tombs; the poor and the weak will not be dismissed; the powerless will not remain in their place of oppression.
The Good Friday voices of the homeless, victims of violence, those struck down by a pandemic that shows no favourites – Those Good Friday voices will be heard!
The way of God is indeed a new world order: darkness, death, hatred and revenge stand aside! Give way to light, life, love, mercy and forgiveness.
Joe Caddy, 11 April 2020