The Place Where the Lord Lay (A Word for Easter)
George H. Morrison
One does not associate gladness with the grave. That is not the experience of men. The sepulcher is the quiet home of sorrow where the tears fall in gentle loving memory. How often, visiting a graveyard, does one see somebody lingering by a tomb, taking away the flowers that are withered, tending it with a sweet and careful reverence. Such ministrants1 are seldom singing folk with a great and shining gladness on their faces. They are the children of memory and sorrow. Summoned to a grave, we know at once that we are summoned to a place of sadness. Women clothe themselves in decent black as perceiving the unseemliness of color. And yet the strange thing is, in the passage now before us, that when the angel wanted to make these women glad, he bade them come and investigate a grave. He did not drive them from the garden as Adam and Eve were driven from the garden. He did not bid them try to forget their sorrow and go out and face their duty in the world. He quieted their fears and cheered their hearts and turned their sorrow into thrilling joy by bidding them investigate a grave. It is one of the strangest episodes of history. To exaggerate its uniqueness is impossible. It is the only time in all the centuries when a grave is the triumphant argument for gladness. We make pilgrimages to see where poets sang or where patriots lived or captains fought their battles. But the angel said (and it brought morning with it), "Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
One marvelous thing was that that place was empty, though only the angel knew why it was empty. It had not been rifled of its priceless treasure-He is not here, He is risen. The Sadhu Sundar Singh tells of a friend of his who visited Mohammed's tomb. It was very splendid and adorned with diamonds, and they said to him, "Mohammed's bones are here." He went to France and saw Napoleon's tomb, and they said to him, "Napoleon's bones ...
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