‘Then they remembered His words….’
[This is the fourth of the Eleven Resurrectional Gospels of Matins]
‘Just the facts, ma’am.’ So hard-bitten Sgt. Joe Friday would demand of witnesses on the 1950’s TV police procedural Dragnet. But can there be ‘just facts’? Isn’t it the case that your convictions will dictate how you see the facts? It’s not just what you see but how you see it. In a similar way, the facts – the what about Jesus Christ – have a hidden meaning that can only be seen with the how of faith.
The women go to the tomb of Jesus and find it empty. What do you make of that? The Pharisees would claim His disciples came by night and stole Him away. Peter, like the proverbial man from Missouri, says ‘show me.’ The women are confused, disturbed, and full of doubts.
Same facts. Different interpretations. How do you see it?
Two men in dazzling white appear with an announcement about the destiny of the Son of Man. What do you see? If you a student of the Scriptures, you might well see this as another appearance of Moses and Elijah like the one at the Lord’s Transfiguration, when a voice proclaimed: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with Him I am well pleased…’ (Matthew 17:5).
The Church Fathers had the eyes – the how – of faith to see into the inner essence of the facts. That’s because, as the eminent patristics scholar Georges Florovsky pointed out, the patristical mind was the biblical mind. Is that your mindset as well? If so, you will have a mind that views the facts of the world through the lens of biblical faith and see into the hidden heart of things.
The Myrrh-bearing women were afraid at first, but then they remembered the Lord’s words. Remembering His words gave them faith, and with faith the insight into the hidden meaning of the facts before them. We too can banish our fears, even at the most trying times, finding insight into our lives by remembering the Scriptures, thereby gaining the eyes of faith into the true nature of life.