Ever since Easter Sunday, I’ve been thinking about the women who came to the garden tomb with spices to care for the dead body of Jesus.

These women had traveled with Jesus as He taught and healed. They had likely been part of the female crew that had fed Him and the disciples, supported them with finances, etc. (Matthew 27:55–56). And then they watched Jesus be crucified and die.

And now, out of love, the women were coming to tend His dead body.

They did not expect the resurrection nor the grave opened from the inside out. They did not expect the empty grave clothes nor the neatly folded head cloth (don’t you just love that detail?).

They were in mourning and in shock — but they were loving their Lord Jesus, still. Out of this love, they came to tend His dead body … only to find that He was alive!

Jesus was no longer dead. As John tells us, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has also granted the Son to have life in Himself” (5:26).

Here’s where my mind goes next: Lately I have talked with several pastors who are so wiped out from serving the Church. They feel like their efforts are in vain, they feel like the Church is dead and unresponsive.

Like the women going to the tomb with the spices for the dead body of Jesus, they feel like they are continuing a ministry of mercy to the dead. Their work of love, done for the Lord, feels like tending to a dead body.

But the truth is, the Church really is Jesus’ body — scripture says so — and the life of the Church, the universal Church, is the Life of Christ. His Spirit brings to life things that were dead.

So, precious pastors:

Take heart as you serve the Church — there is resurrection hope in this service, because Jesus has risen from the dead and He will raise us to life as well. At the end of time, certainly! But also now. He has not deserted His Church, His Body and there is resurrection coming.

Don’t be weary with doing good — harvest is coming, and the Church is alive.

The Lord is risen!

He is risen, indeed.