John 20:1-18

I Am the Voice of the Tomb

By Shelly Klingensmith

I am the voice of the Tomb
I am dark and joyless, cold and wet, and void of light.

Others have told me what it would be like,
when the grieving ones bring someone to me, to rest for eternity.

There will be wailing, crying, and inconsolable grief.
Victims are young, old, man, woman, and child.
They are the beloved; generational gifts lost in the night.
Wrapped in clothes, they will rest the lifeless on my stone.

This is a place where life stops.
It is a place where flesh melts away and rocks become sponges of decay, soaking up liquefied pulp and marrow.
It is a place where insects gather for a meal and bitter stench waft through the air, seeping through the crevices of my cavern.

So it came to pass, my first guest was a man called Jesus, the Nazarene.
He wore a crown made of thorns, and a sign of royalty “king of the Jews”.

I knew no more of him. And they gathered the grievers.
They wept and they moaned.
I just listened, unable to offer condolences.

That’s not my job the others tombs warned.
This is your first, you’ll get used to it; soon you will be numb to it all.

So he was laid on the rock, the bed of sleep,
and a stone was lifted to the vent, sealing us together in the darkness.

But then something happened, in the early morning,
when the dew was fresh, and the rising sun was hidden behind the hill.
The earth shook, and the stone moved from its location.

Suddenly light illuminated the cavern,
warmth filled the space, and the man, this Jesus moved.

Then others appeared with him, gently unwrapping the bindings and intentionally folding them,
laying them on the bed of sleep.

Then he rose, and without warning he gone from my vision.
Suddenly, outside my space, I heard footsteps, and voices.
The aroma of spices and perfume crept into my cavern.

Visitors peered into the tomb and the heavenly beings gazed back at them and asked “why do you look for the living among the dead; do not be afraid…look, Jesus of Nazareth has been raised; he is not here, now go…go and tell the others”.
I saw their faces…shock and amazement, wonderment and hope.

Yes! There definitely was hope!

And, again, there were more voices,
and running feet, and more visitors peered in.
I heard more voices outside my space:
“Mary”…”Rabbouni”, “do not hold onto me”, “go and tell the others”…

Now the other tombs say I am special.
No one ever gets up from the bed of sleep
…no one ever leaves the tomb alive.

This is an amazing thing.
It’s a miracle. Death isn’t death and emptiness anymore.
Death is now life. I will never be the same again,
and the world…the world will never again be the same.

Copyright 2012 Shelly Klingensmith. Used by permission.