The Empty Tomb
What would the scene at the tomb of our Lord be like from the vantage point of two angels from heaven? Join Randy Sly in an imaginary narrative about the first Easter.
Have you ever heard an angel chuckle? The sound begins deep inside and seems to resonate through their whole body, sounding like a muted trumpet playing in a deep cavern. Well, that’s about as close as earthly folk can even get to the sound.
It was that time between darkness and dawn, when you can see forms but no colors. Link and Strom, the guardians who had faithfully walked with Jesus through His years of ministry, were perched above the tomb with their hands over their mouths to keep anyone from hearing them laugh.
A few feet below the angels, Roman guards stood at attention, weapons ready, alert to any movement. Their orders were clear, no one was allowed near the opening of the tomb. Should anyone tamper with the body inside, the soldiers would be immediately executed. They were positioned in closed ranks, side by side directly in front of the large rock that sealed the doorway. Each soldier’s face was fixed like a stone statue, revealing the resolution of their vigil.
In front of the guards, four rows of demons stood in similar formation. They, too, were resolute, looking to the right and the left for any sign of threat. No one from heaven or earth was going to get near the body of Jesus. They would make sure of that.
“I wish we could tell them,” Link whispered.
“We have our orders,” said Strom, again almost letting one of those chuckles come out.
“I know, but this is a time of victory!”
“Shhhh - don’t let them know yet!”
They knew that soon all heaven and earth would hear the news. The tomb upon which these two were sitting was actually empty. The Father had hidden this marvelous truth from all - including the forces of darkness.
Another angel secretly approached the two from behind. He looked like the others but you could tell he was a leader with special authority.
“I have just spoken with the Lord,” he whispered to them.
“You spoke with Him?” both said almost in unison.
“Where is He? Does He look well? Is He pleased with the outcome of His Plan? Strom overwhelmed the senior angel with questions.
“Shhhhh,” the angel interrupted them. “Your questions will all be answered in time. All is ready; you know what to do.”
“We do,” Link said, “The demons think we’re here to watch them. In fact, they have been making a lot of confrontive statements for our benefit, talking about the cross and how great it was to watch the Son die, and now guard His tomb. They really believe that we’re waiting for our final defeat.”
“The master has said it’s time; soon they will know the truth!” The lead angel spoke with a victorious tone in his voice. The two remembered a time of celebration in heaven before the Son came to earth. The Plan had been revealed to all the heavenly host by Michael, the archangel. Now the Plan was almost complete.
The angel disappeared as quickly as he had come. Link and Strom stood to their feet, raised their hands toward heaven and began to sing quietly to the Lord. They sounded like a choir of a thousand voices singing in perfect unison. The song filled the area around the tomb with a sweet spirit of peace and rest.
Below, unaware of this heavenly concert, the brigade began to relax for some strange reason. Their eyelids becoming heavy, their minds began to drift. One man actually dropped his spear and fell back against the stone door before he was awakened by a superior who reprimanded the entire company for breaking ranks. The soldiers tried their best to stay awake. They knew sleep could mean death for abandoning their post.
The song grew in dimension, octave upon octave was added to both melody and harmony. The Glory of God was released in waves from the place above the opening of the tomb. Both angels began to glow with a heavenly brilliance as the power of the Holy Spirit manifested around the tomb. The soldiers were overcome. Falling like military mannequins, they dropped into a deep deep sleep.
All this time, the demons were hunched together, holding their ears. The sounds of worship were piercing and deadly to them. As the presence of the Lord grew, they hopped, rolled and finally crawled a few hundred feet from the tomb, which seemed to be the source of their distress. Huddled as a darkened mass of evil intent, they watched in horror as the two who sang began to climb down to a position in front of the tomb, while continuing their heavenly praise.
Link broke the seal, and with the strength equal to a hundred men, rolled the stone from the door as though it was merely a paper rock. The demons screamed in terror, when they discovered the tomb they had guarded was empty.
The company of fallen beings cursed God for His deception and hurriedly retreated. They were pushing each other and tripping over one another as they left. Fearful of Satan’s retribution, they were confused and not sure where to go or what to do. The kingdom of darkness was quickly falling into disarray as certain victory had now become absolute defeat.
As Strom walked inside the tomb, Link directed him to wait there for the followers of Jesus who would be arriving soon. He, then, started up the path toward Jerusalem where he would stay with the disciples in the upper room until Jesus appeared. Link stopped and looked back at the empty tomb, the sleeping soldiers littering the area around the opening. He rejoiced that the Son’s victory was so decisive.
A great deal had occurred since Jesus had come. He and Strom were privileged to play a small part in God’s great Plan. Turning back toward Jerusalem, he continued the short journey toward the city. A few hundred yard up the path, he passed a man who shone like the sun.
“Well done, faithful warrior.” The man’s voice that brought a rush through the whole being of the angel.
“Lord, it is You! May You be glorified in all heaven and earth.”
“Stand near me, warrior. Behold the glory of God as my victory is made known to the whole earth.”
With that the Lord turned toward a huddle of demons that had been secretly following the angel. “Be gone,” He said, “and take this message with you. I have risen and my Father’s will has been completed for the salvation of all mankind.”
The demons fled, tripping over each other as they ran back to deliver the message to their master.
Jesus sent Link on to be with His disciples, giving orders to guard the upper room from Satan’s forces until He arrived. The angel bowed low before the Lord and ran down the path toward the city. Just then the silhouettes of women bearing spices approached.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- The Power of the Resurrection in our Lives: Christ Is Risen; Indeed, He Is Risen!
- What a Day! What a Way, the Easter Way, Alleluia!
- The Surprise of Easter
- Easter Vigil Homily of Pope Francis: Let the Risen Jesus Enter Your Life
- HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence
- The Resurrecting Power of Mercy
- On the Friday We Call Good, the Whole World Stands Still
- Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross
- Reflection: Let us Apply the Splint of the Cross to our Fractured Freedom
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
F. K. Bartels - Catholic Online, 4/6/2013
There is great cause for belief in the Resurrection. One of the most wonderful tenets of Catholicism and the true Christian religion the Church transmits, is that the Resurrection is a historical ...Continue Reading
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 4/1/2013
Have you have heard the old adage, used often in a disparaging way, He´s so heavenly he is no earthly good. I suggest again that it misses the mark completely. We are Easter people. We are called to ...Continue Reading
Fr. Randy Sly - Catholic Online, 3/31/2013
To make sure that all mankind knows that it is not over but actually just beginning, God has an Easter bombshell. While we may have been able to anticipate the wondrous joy of a day of resurrection, ...Continue Reading
Pope Francis - Catholic Online, 3/31/2013
Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness... and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »