Station Twenty-one

Rob Devens: The Empty Tomb, 2003 (digital photo of the installation for station 21 of The Way of the Cross)

John 20:1-12
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.


Matthew 28:5-6
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.


He is risen, death could not hold him!  And now it cannot hold us who have our lives in him!

O Christ, the brightness of God's glory and express image of his person, whom death could not conquer, nor the tomb imprison; as you have shared our mortal frailty in the flesh, help us to share your immortal triumph in the spirit.  Let no shadow of the grave affright us and no fear of darkness turn our hearts from you.  Reveal yourself to us as the first and the last, the Living One, our immortal Savior and Lord.  Amen   


Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) Minister of the Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City; U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and Luxembourg