The earth quakes, the veil violently tears, the sky closes its eyes and all goes black.
It is finished.
His limp body is taken down from the cross and placed in a stone tomb. Sealed by a stone and guarded by the most skilled of Roman soldiers. The leaders have lost enough face as it is, they were certainly not going to let the disciples come in and steal the body, claiming resurrection.
The moon and the sun rotate in silence as their Creator lays still inside a cave. The disciples huddle together watching their lives move on. But two women refuse to let death win. Jesus promised to rebuild, to restore hope. They were merely buying time until they would visit Jesus' grave and usher Him back to their reality.
Dawn brings the hope of a new day, the women watched for its first appearance. The earth trembled and a stone was pushed back. The women have became so unsure of their footing that they just keep running, afraid that they have missed something. Maybe afraid of what will happen if they stay still.
The fresh sand dug deep into a path leading to the cave. The stone was gone.
Fear, panic, surprise, disappointment, love, fatigue, hope, despair. All of these emotions partnered with their opposite and forced tears to roll down their faces.
An angel spoke the words the women could not, "Do not be afraid. He is not here, for he has risen."
At these words, the women's feet started running. Pushing through thorn bushes and luminous cedar trees to reach the sanctuary of the disciples.
The words "He is Risen!" reached into the disciple's hearts to meet doubt, confusion and hope. What their ears heard, their hearts couldn't fathom. Jesus was alive.
Jesus came and sat. Ate roasted fish and reminded his followers that He had defeated death. The most courageous of acts for a King. From that day forward, Jesus wanted His followers to gather others into His Kingdom.
To lead out in truth.
To lead out in hope.