Easter is usually a time of joy and celebration. The typical picture of the first Easter is that the disciples are joyous that Jesus has been raised from the dead.
Certainly joy and celebration is part of Easter.
But consider this account of the first Easter:
1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" 4And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back— it was very large. 5And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." 8And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
And that’s where Mark’s Gospel – at least the earliest copies we have of Mark’s Gospel – ends. For they were afraid.
Joy, celebration and fear, astonishment, trembling - these are all part of Easter.
And God planned it that way. Because not everyone comes to Easter Sunday with joy, relief, excitement. Some come with doubt, uncertainty.
And that’s ok. God welcomes those who are filled with doubt and uncertainty. Think of Thomas who didn’t believe at first. Jesus didn’t turn his back on Thomas, he invited him closer.
Jesus extends the same invitation to you.
The invitation of Easter is to come closer to Jesus, bring your doubt and uncertainty. You and Jesus can the deal with it.
I recently read these words, attributed to C.S. Lewis
“If ours is an examined faith, we should be unafraid to doubt. If doubt is eventually justified, we were believing what clearly was not worth believing. But if doubt is answered, our faith grows stronger. It knows God more certainly and can enjoy God more deeply.”
So what do you have to lose? Easter’s message is you can come to Jesus with your doubts and uncertainties. See where it takes you!