Daily Word of Grace # 214 (April 7, 2021)
One of the catchiest songs on the Beatles’ 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour is “Hello, Goodbye” with these childishly simple lyrics by Paul McCartney: “You say goodbye and I say hello—hello, hello—I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello.” In his account of Jesus’ resurrection Matthew tells us that early on Easter morning Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb of Jesus with the intention of embalming him for burial, with the intention of saying goodbye. But God had different intentions for them, and when they arrived, the body of Jesus was not there. Instead they were greeted by a mighty angel of the Lord who had rolled away the stone from the tomb and struck fear in the heart of the elite Roman soldiers assigned to guard it. This same angel tells the two Mary’s, “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” (Matthew 28:1-6). As they were running from the tomb “with fear and great joy” on their way to tell Jesus’ disciples what had happened, “Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’” and in response the two Mary’s “took hold of his feet, and worshipped him” (Matthew 28:9). They had come to say, “Goodbye” to the crucified Jesus, but instead the Risen Jesus said, “Hello” to them. What was true for the two Mary’s on Easter morning is true for you today and forever. Through his resurrection Jesus has immutably changed goodbye to hello.
Love and Prayers,