I must confess I am not a huge art fan. While I appreciate good art and the talent of the artist that creates it I don't really spend much time pursuing it. That is why my reaction the first time I saw Eugène Burnand's Peter and John Running to the Tomb surprised me so much. I remember the moment clearly. I bounded up the stairs, skipping every other step, until I arrived on the landing where I stopped short...
Their faces! What must they be thinking?
"Could it be true?"
Think about what they had experienced in the previous days. Notice Peter's hand over his broken heart, John's prayerful clasp. And their faces! I can't imagine being able to capture so many emotions in one image.
With this image in mind reflect on this Easter Sunday's Gospel:
"On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him." So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead." John 20:1-9
As a former runner I always saw myself as "the other disciple whom Jesus loved" who ran faster, reaching the tomb first. Now as a 53 year old man with creaky joints I relate to the older Peter. Regardless of how we get there, on Easter Sunday our heart's question is answered.
JESUS IS ALIVE!!!
"It is true," so believe and run to our resurrected Savior with the same expectant joy that Mary, Peter and John surely had.