A Prayer Reflection for Easter

They went to the tomb and he was not there.

In his place, a mound of discarded clothes and a young man.

This wasn’t what they expected.

So much in these past days had not been what they expected.

A festive arrival in the old city. An angry outburst in the temple.

A festive yet somber meal with friends. Lonely prayers in the garden.

Betrayal. Arrest. Questions. A trial.

A long walk carrying a heavy burden. Crucifixion. Death.

None of it was what they expected.

But like the rest of us, they slogged through the week with too much on their minds and hearts.

Too much happening. It was a blur.

After a Sabbath rest and a chance to catch their breath, they hurried to the tomb.

But he was not there.


What now?

To heed the words of the young man? To remember what Jesus told them?

What if the others didn’t believe them?

What if they never found him?

What if he was gone forever?


A light dawns on a new day.

Questions and doubts melt away.

He is Risen!

He goes before you, just as he promised.

Faith is built on this promise.


When all seems not as we expect, faith and the promise hold fast.

Faith and promise lead us beyond Easter day.

Into days upon days of the unexpected.

With so much happening around us after one short day of Sabbath rest,

We scarcely catch our breath.

Still, the promise is sure.

He is Risen!

He goes before us.

We don’t face the unexpected on our own.


He goes before us.

We step into Eastertide confident that the Risen Christ awaits us on the journey.


Beth Herrinton-Hodge is a Teaching Elder (Minister) and Certified Christian Educator living in Shelbyville, KY. She is director of the Academic Support Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and serves on the Advocate Ministry Team with APCE.