The Christian year begins with a birth of a baby. The angels sing, the kings of the east come, and the shepherds shout for joy, but we are left with a baby that is tired and hungry and fully God and fully man. The fabric of the universe is torn. The calculations of the wise are altered. God has come.
Four months later in that same calendar we come to the apex of the year. That baby is now a man who is crucified, died, and buried. Dead in the ground, death had won. For three days Satan had his victory. God undone. Hell victorious. On that Sunday morning Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome head to the tomb in pain and grief. The teacher is dead. The Messiah they thought they had known was no more. Their leader dead and so was their hopes and dreams for the future. He had brought so much to their lives and it was now over.
They reach the tomb and a man in white tells them, "He is risen! He is not here." They do not know what to do or what to think. What does it mean that he is risen? The implications were unclear. Jesus is alive, that is enough for now. So they ran back and told the remaining disciples. Peter and John go to see for themselves. It is true Jesus is no longer dead.
Jesus who is God was dead and now he lives.
Over the next few months Jesus appears to many of his followers. He says that the Kingdom has come. But Rome still rules. He says, see with new eyes, but their sight is still darken. Then Jesus ascends into heaven. He is seated at the right now of His Father. The disciples are bewildered. What now? What does this all mean? The Messiah lives! The Kingdom has come! But it is not what we expected. And so they follow his command and head to Jerusalem to wait.
Jesus is the Messiah. This they know. He was dead and now he lives. God has changed the world. Still, they do not fully see it. The world is different, but how, remains to be seen. They must wait in Jerusalem, for God isn't finished yet.