Alleluia, Christ has risen!  REPEAT!!!   What a glorious day! Can you imagine that miraculous sight!  The moment Christ was raised…trumpets sound and angels rejoice!  The dead have been raised and mourning turns to laughing. A day to put chocolate bunnies and decorated eggs to shame. A day where all rejoice to see the Lord in splendor… Or not. Because there were no witnesses to the resurrection. The women who came to the tomb.  The earthquakes and the angel.  They all came after. There was no one to witness the miracle of Christ’s being raised by God.  The greatest miracle of all time was done in silence; unwitnessed, undocumented, even the guards outside the tomb were unaware. All the fanfare, the earthquakes and angels were not required to raise Christ.  They weren’t for Christ.  They were for us. They were…what happened next. Isn’t that so often God’s way.  It brings to mind that passage from from 1st Kings, if you recall, when the Lord appeared to Elijah.  We read: Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.   Just like then, the Lord isn’t in the earthquake… not in the drama and chaos… rather God is in the quiet.  The sound of sheer silence.     The earthquake and the rolling back of the stone…and my favorite, the angel jauntily sitting on the stone as if to say…death?  HA! All of that is not to let Christ out…for as we clearly see, Christ is not there!  Rather it is to let us in. We need to see the empty tomb, the folded grave clothes, the angel with attitude.  We need to see it, because it sounds too good to be true.  Such miraculous events need a herald, need to be reported… after all, if it isn’t posted on Facebook or Instagram…did it really happen? But that isn’t how God works.  The many of the miracles we read of in scripture don’t require a whole lot of hoopla.  Just wash and be clean.  Take your mat and walk.  Your faith has made you well. Christ doesn’t need fanfare at the resurrection, the tomb was occupied.  The tomb is empty. It’s so simple, it’s simply impossible…so, we are invited to take a look. Come and see, the angel tells us.  See for yourself…he is not here, he has already been risen.  Come and see.  This is the invitation we hear throughout the gospels of Christ. If you don’t believe the rumours of what Christ has done…come and see.  Don’t rely on hearsay…experience it for yourself.  Question, probe, seek, don’t just rely on what others say…even the angels …come and see…step inside and experience faith. Then go quickly and tell others.     The title that the scriptures give to someone who is sent to proclaim God’s word…is an apostle.  Yet, we read that it is not one of the traditional 12 apostles who receive the commissioning at the resurrection.   It would make sense if it were… someone like Peter, always quick with an idea…speaking before thinking.  Or James and John, sons of thunder they were called.  Loud, impetuous and easy to spot in a crowd I’m sure! None of these. It is the women, these two Mary’s who are the first to proclaim Christ’s resurrection.  They were the first apostles of the resurrection.  They are the reporters, the heralds, it is for their benefit the earth shook, the angel descended and the tomb was open. It was for two women full of fear and great joy, who saw the tomb, who heard the angel and who met Christ himself on the way.  Those  two Mary’s became the first apostles of the risen Christ, the first Christian evangelists, the first to proclaim to others Christ has risen! It was the women.  Women whose position in history too often has been sheer silence…it is there that Christ speaks.   Not in the impressive, the loud, and the powerful …but in the unexpected quiet places. In empty tombs, full of promise In the experience of what happens when you come and see. There were others mentioned in this resurrection narrative, others who felt the earthquake, saw the angel and whose attention was drawn to the resurrection of Christ.      Namely the guards who had been posted at the tomb of Christ out of fear that the disciples would steal the body of Jesus and pretend he had been resurrected.  The guards too saw the angel, they like the women, saw and were afraid.  Yet, we read that when they were invited to come and see…the women stepped forward in fear, the guards shook and became like dead men.  Too afraid to move. We find out afterwards that they reported everything to their superiors later on…and decided to proclaim a lie.  They were told to say the disciples stole the body after all, even though the guards had been on duty…they knew this was untrue.  Yet, they didn’t want to embrace that experience …they’d rather live in the darkness of ignorance then be changed by the light. Come and see, it is an invitation…not an imperative and we get to choose. The women experienced the quiet of the empty tomb and were filled still with fear, but also with great joy.  The guards experienced only the fear…they never got to the joy. This seems so true today as well. The world is full of earthquake and drama, things that scare us and leave us trembling.  And all around us we hear the challenge that was thrown at Christ as he suffered on the cross… If you are the Son of God, come down …or to paraphrase…if God is real then why don’t the mountains shake and the earth tremble, and the bad guys get put away.   But God isn’t in the earthquake…God isn’t on the front page. God is in the quiet and bold workings of those come and see, those who live with fear and great joy.     Those apostles like Mary and Mary who invite others to come and see.  We all have a chance to experience the resurrection. But the invitation to come and see, doesn’t always result in fireworks and turn about conversions.  Sometimes it is a quiet transition from fear and trembling, to fear and great joy. The important thing…is what happens next. No one that day, millennia ago, saw Christ’s resurrection.  The best they got was a tap on the shoulder and an invitation to look into an empty tomb.  No proof, just silence. Yet, that experience changed them. The women who came to the tomb in the darkness of dawn , ran to proclaim Christ’s resurrection. The disciples, tax collectors, fishermen and common everyday people who tried to avoid trouble… we soon find will be proclaiming Christ’s teachings in town squares, from jails, in front of emperors.  The proof of the resurrection is not a single moment millennia ago, rather it is the cumulative experience of Christ speaking and transforming lives, in the simple, quiet everyday miracles. In the invitation Come and see, and in what happens next. Come and See, there may not be much to look at now…but if you allow yourself to take that invitation you will experience resurrection. Easter morning is a glorious day!  The most important single day in history …and yet what matters is what happens next. amen