My favorite neighborhood run wanders right past a cemetery. I run by it enough, I can do it thoughtlessly. I'm too busy convincing myself that the urge to stop is only in my head. Today, after spending a good part of the day wondering over that first Holy Saturday, the cemetery took hold of my attention in an earth-shattering way.
I don't expect my grandmother to rise from the dead tomorrow morning. I don't expect my brother to join me for a post-sunrise service run in the morning. I don't expect the Normas and Johns and Edwards to rise up from their graves as I run past them on a sunny evening.
The disciples didn't expect Jesus on Sunday. Their grief was real. It was hopeless. It was hot and painful and scary. The women went to cemetery in the listlessness that only sudden grief can bring. Despite her grief, Mary was actually quite rational. It was much more likely that the groundskeeper looked like Jesus than he would be the Risen Jesus.
But reason went wayside with her name, "Mary." Her expectations, her listlessness, her grief, her reason was replaced with surprise, uncontainable joy, and an irrational faith.
It is irrational to believe that the physical bodies of my brother, friends, grandparents will rise up out of their graves. And yet Christ's resurrection is a sure sign of what is to come, the first fruit of many. His resurrection tells us that death, its listless grief, its hopelessness has no victory, no lasting sting.
Holy Saturday is listless. It is waiting for what is to come. But on this side of Christ's resurrection, we know what is to surely come.