It was the end of a dream. Once there was a future and a hope. But now hope lay dead in the cold darkness of a borrowed tomb. It was morning on the third day, and the two women gathered the spices they had prepared ahead of time.
Their hearts were heavy with the overwhelming ache of their loss. There was only one thing they could do to obtain some small comfort for their mourning. They would go to the place of their pain. They would tend the dead. That’s what we do when the dream dies. We visit the tomb.
Though we could never imagine the loss these women felt, seeing their Lord crucified, we are all familiar with the death of a dream. Whether it is a dream for ourselves, or for the ones we love, the pain and disappointment can paralyze us. It could be a child charging into a life of rebellion, the loss of a loved one, failure to succeed - to provide for our families. Though the particulars may vary from person to person, the death of a dream grips our heart with the realization that our cherished hopes will never materialize. We had a wonderful expectation, we dared to dream the dream, but the harshness of reality has crushed us. We are confused and disappointed.
So what do we do? We visit the tomb. Maybe because we just can’t believe it. We need to see the visible proof of death. We go, as the women did, to tend to the dead. There is a strange comfort there, a closeness to what we lost.
I see a little bit of myself in those two women. I have returned to the place of my heartache, time and time again. This is where I mourn over what could have been. When I go, I go prepared. I do not go there to celebrate. My spices are that of regret and sorrow; I have found these to be good preservatives for the corpse of my hopelessness. I thought this was an acceptable ritual as well. After all, my dream has died. Shouldn’t I mourn?
Digging into the Scripture, pushing past the facts and finality of death, truth comes alive in our hearts. In Luke, chapter 24, the two women bring their spices to the tomb. There they are greeted by angelic messengers, unleashing long anticipated words: “Why do you look for the Living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen.” Those words are not just for two women grieving at a tomb long ago. They are for today. They are for me and for you.
We have made a practice of visiting the tomb of our dreams, not with the expectation of resurrection, but with the dread of unbelief. Did God allow the dream to die so that we would live in anguish throughout our lives? No! Our good and gracious God allowed the death so that it might be raised to life, resurrection life, in Jesus Christ. He never betrays, never disappoints. What He does, even when it hurts, He does in mercy - always looking toward our good and His ultimate, eternal glory.
Hope resurrected. Joy restored. These are the gifts of Easter. The miracle continues in the life of all who dare to believe on His name. It is His nature to redeem. In a small way, my story is the story of Easter. Yours is too. A birth, a promise, a crushing death, and a glorious resurrection. Our Father never tires of the eternal reverberation of Christ’s victory over the grave. He tells it again through my life, and He tells it through yours.
Your story is not over; He has an amazing account to tell. He knows it best; He wrote it. Yes, it goes by way of the tomb. But your tomb is borrowed too, for only a moment in time. For a purpose. For resurrection.