The Angels and Jesus’ Resurrection
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look[a] into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. (John 20:11-14)
I often wonder about the business of angels on Easter morning. During Christmas angels have always been a part of the focus and celebration. During Easter, hardly anything is said about angels. The different authors of the Gospel had their own way of sharing about the angels at the tomb. John said there were two angels—one sitting in the head and the other in the feet where Jesus was laid. Similarly, Luke said the women saw two men in dazzling white came and stood beside the women. Matthew mentioned of the angel who rolled the stone away and sat on it. Mark said they saw a young man dressed in white robe. And from the different authors, these angels were not seen in the same place and they did not say the same thing to the women. What exactly the reason they were there?
In perspective, angels had been with Jesus from his birth to the resurrection. They were with Jesus not only to announce his birth but also to provide support and care for his needs and ministry. Jesus’ ministry was completed, “finished” at the cross, done on Good Friday. So it is also with the job of these angels. On Easter morning, I think the angels were there for a specific reason, not to raise Jesus from the death (because Jesus had his own power to do so) but to give him honor and accompany him back to his eternal glory. They were there to wait for Jesus to go with them, but it did not happen.
Jesus decided to stay for a while. He was more concerned about his disciples and their works after he was gone. He needed to go back to his disciples and show himself to them that they might believe, and be at peace and comforted. And when they had believed they would be empowered to submit themselves to the great commission which he would command them so they would truly be his witnesses to the end of age. He was real, the same person they were with who suffered and died. He was hungry and he ate like everyone.
Seeing is believing. Jesus’ resurrection and appearance assured the disciples of his eternal presence with them in their lives and ministries, in time of joy or in time of uncertainty. Jesus foresaw the need of his resurrection and appearance for us as well. As his presence was with the disciples, he is also with us today, to give us strength and comfort in time of need. He rose that the disciples might believe, and through their witnesses, we might also believe. The resurrection was a meant for all of us that Jesus lives and he has become our guardian angel as his angels were for him in his life and ministry in this physical world.
We pray to you, Oh Risen Christ, knowing that you are with us and sustaining us in our daily living. You are our guardian angel in time of joy or in time of uncertainty, in time of loss or grief. Thank you for your resurrection. You rose that we may know you are with us so we can face today and tomorrow. Amen.