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“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

In Genesis 1, God saw all of creation and said it was good.

In Genesis 3, man and woman sin and break the perfect covenant relationship between God and creation:

“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Creation and its covenant union with God are broken. But God never abandoned His creation. In Genesis 15 He speaks to a man named Abram and joins him in covenant, joining their names together to make Abram, Abraham. That covenant promises that one day God will give Abraham a descendant who will bless the whole world, a messiah.

Thousands of years pass before John writes these words: “In the beginning was the Word…and the Word became flesh.” The Word, who was with God in the beginning, at creation, has come to dwell, to tabernacle, on earth with his creation, and to redeem it from the Fall, from sin, so that the perfect covenant relationship between God and His creation could be restored for eternity.

Throughout his ministry, wherever Jesus goes he brings new life to those who encounter him. It’s like creation in Genesis 1 all over again. Then, he is executed on the cross. The chaos of the Fall returns. Darkness descends on those weeping around the cross. Two men bear his body to a tomb before the sabbath begins. Then a long sabbath begins, a day of rest in the tomb after his finished work on the cross.
Now, on the first day of the week, as the sun begins to rise, new creation begins. The eighth day!

(Photo: On Sat., Aug. 27, 2011, International Space Station Astronaut Ron Garan pointed an HD camera out a window of the Cupola to film one of the sixteen sunrises astronauts see each day. This sunrise image shows the rising sun as the International Space Station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina. By NASA.  <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/">Public Domain</a>, via Wikimedia Commons.)

(Photo: This sunrise image shows the rising sun as the International Space Station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina. By NASA. Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Women come to the tomb weeping, maybe bringing more spices and perfumes for the body, maybe just coming to mourn, because what else is there to do?
They find the stone rolled back and the tomb empty! Someone’s taken away his body! They have to find out what’s happened. They run back to the city and find Peter in his hiding place and get John as well and they run to the tomb to see for themselves. Sure enough, the tomb is empty. But strangely, the grave clothes are lying there as though the body simply disappeared from within them. If someone had robbed the grave why would they have unwrapped Jesus’ body and laid the clothes so meticulously? John came in and saw this and knew no one had stolen the body.

“He saw, and believed.”

He believed that new creation was here and had already begun. He believed that the winter of the world had gone and spring had come at last. The curse was broken.  Reconciliation and love had come.  He believed that after years of wandering, not being recognized for who he was, the king had finally taken his throne. He believed that Jesus was alive again.

 

(Photo: In Harrowing of Hades, fresco in the parecclesion of the Chora Church, Istanbul, c. 1315, raising Adam and Eve is depicted as part of the Resurrection icon, as it always is in the East. By Jbribeiro1. <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/">CC-BY-SA-3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons.)

(Photo: In Harrowing of Hades, fresco in the parecclesion of the Chora Church, Istanbul, c. 1315, raising Adam and Eve is depicted as part of the Resurrection icon, as it always is in the East. By Jbribeiro1. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Today was the beginning of new creation. The darkness has gone, the light has come!

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.  For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:11-14)

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 3:20-21)