Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.
Mark 16,6

He’s not here!?
The women. The good ones. The faithful. The fearless ones. The ones who have their wits about them, while the men (specifically: the disciples) are simply out of their depth, completely confused. The women. Without whom nothing worked and nothing works. And that was already the case when there was no talk of church, not even possibly talk of it. A sad morning. And they bravely set off.
They stood under the cross. They did not let themselves be pushed aside or away by anyone. They stood there: one big monument. That what is happening here is not right. What is happening here is not right. The innocent man – con- demned, laughed at, mocked, tortured, killed. The women – a single outcry. Even if they were actually crying more into themselves.
They are the witnesses. They, whom the law at the time did not recognise as witnesses. They witnessed the crucial events: Jesus’ death and his confirmation, the removal of the body from the cross, the burial. They know the day after to- morrow, when the Sabbath of Holy Saturday is over, where they must direct their steps. The tasks of mourning: oiling and embalming the body. To live, to be able to survive with that which cannot be grasped.
A rock tomb in a garden. With a huge sealing stone. Wouldn’t helpers be need- ed to roll it away? They didn’t think of that on Sunday, the day after the Sabbath

And see the tomb is open, the stone has been rolled away. The common re- sponse to this would be to panic. Grave robbers, irreverent fellows. Now, dear women, leave. Let’s get out of here!
But they don’t turn back. They don’t run away. They continue on their way: until they reach their destination. Undaunted? Or uninvolved, as if in a trance? Who knows … A white figure awaits them in the tomb. Not Jesus. An angel. A mes- senger from God. One who knows exactly who they are looking for – and will not find here. “Do not be afraid,” says an angel to make himself heard by fearful people. “Do not be afraid”: this angel goes one step further. Because we are in an intermediate realm here. One of life and death.

The crucified one is risen. He will also be recognisable as the Risen One by his wounds. But now it only means: “He is not here. And it hurts. Because the words that are supposed to explain why he is not here may come from an angel. But a man of flesh and blood? Above all who knows one irrevocable boundary: the one between life and death?

Hats off to you women! You coped with the horror. You told the disciples: “He has gone ahead of you – to Galilee. You will see him.” You were trembling. Your voices failed you. And yet you were messengers. That which was not granted to you: Witnesses. And then – it took a while – it arrived: the joy of Easter, the laughter of Easter. And they took over hearts: yours, the disciples’, ours!!!

Rüdiger Jung, Pfarrer im Kirchspiel Dautphe/Pastor in the parish of Dautphe