The grave is empty.
And Mary Magdalene has seen the living Christ.
In the gospels, Jesus appears first to the women who have been his followers. All four evangelists specifically mention Mary Magdalene; in John's account, Jesus calls her by name, asks her not to hold on to him, and sends her to tell the men what she has seen. She goes, and does so.
The men don't believe her.
I've been thinking about this a lot as I've gazed at paintings, icons, and frescoes of Jesus' appearance to Mary, and listened to and sung music written for Easter. So many visionaries over the centuries have tried to catch the Uncatchable in paint, in stone, words, music. Then we have framed the pictures, roped off the statues, cleaned up the language, pinned the music to paper. We think we might contain the Holy Spirit like a unicorn in a tapestry.
How hard we work to keep a fence around it! "Come, Holy Spirit," we pray in church, and gesture toward the gate. But do we whole-heartedly open it, welcome her, and offer her a chair? Heavens! Let her sit, and the next thing you know, she'll be taking over! No, we sit, straight-backed and decorously still, while wild songs whisper and clamor in the very stones under our feet.
I have become convinced that some people see and hear differently. They can't help it. They are compelled to track the Wild. Some are saints. The rest of us are artists, and art is how we share what we've seen and heard, in the medium to which we have an affinity. That's our job. We are tour guides, we are reporters, and we do our best to tell the stories. Sometimes it's frightening: some stories are too big.
As the Virgin Mary said "yes" to God, and bore Jesus, the Magdalene said "yes" to Jesus, and bore the too-big story of his resurrection. "Do not cling to me," Jesus said, "but go and tell." Would there have been any gospel according to anyone else had she not run to tell? Was she afraid, giving voice to this impossibly wild song? Was she angered by not being believed? We can't know. We only know that she did it. She did it. She did it. And now it's our turn.
Christ is risen, alleluia, alleluia. The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia.