Joy Cometh in the Morning, an Easter essay from Cynthia Lamanna

Joy Cometh in the Morning

In the bitter chill of that early spring, it appeared that all life form had ceased; from the heavens blue to the undergrounds black ice terrain, the natural and supernatural had come to a halted place; in those dark three days, the world was without the music of human laughter, devoid of divine manifestations such as the sighting of an angels wing or a lame man leaping with joy…the heavy drapery of sorrow and mourning hung over the souls of His beloved followers; even his skeptical neighbors, cynical relatives, and arch enemies could not enjoy their mockery and revenge against a God they both feared and rejected.

The people again sat in great darkness; even those whom he had touched and healed and broke bread with; for the bridegroom was gone, and there was no wedding without him. Once again they were in captivity as if the star had never appeared to the magi and the shepherd; as if Lazarus had not been raised from the dead after all. The real purpose for rebirth and the true meaning of scriptures eluded even the most enlightened in those three days of foreboding. Though the darkest parts of his intense and seemingly surreal crucifixion were unbeknown to all save the Christ and His Father, his disciples could not endure the grave images of his contorted features, crimson tears and mangled bruised body hanging on that crude tree, utterly weakened and defeated (so they thought) by death.

Here they were, the big strong fishermen and the disciple whom He loved, crying like babies in the night; their hearts sinking into them like their own boats slipping into the cold murky abyss. Why hadn’t he stood up to our leaders; those viperous snakes who plotted to kill him and entrap him with their clever words?

Peter in his flailing and anger over the injustice of it all, sickened by his own cowardliness, and vain boasting, sank to despair, as he nearly did when walking on the waters. Mary the mother of Jesus, though broken in heart opened her arms out to John, treasuring in her heart and revering the exhortations of her young man as he looked down at her from the cross, with eyes of compassion and gratitude. Woman, behold your son.”

There was always room at Mary’s inn, for a weary traveler, or a pregnant young girl full of wonder and fear.

Early on the first day of the week, the other Mary was the first to see the stone rolled away, and the tomb empty. After summoning Peter and John to come back and witness this heart thundering moment with her and after they left her there to go back to their lives, Mary waited, determined not to leave without knowing where they placed him. Even the angels in their brilliant white, did not detour or intimidate her; for such was her longing and thirst for her brother and such was her insistence that she see him again and be near him dead or alive. She had sat transfixed and enthralled at his feet, anointing him with perfume and her own tears, as she heard about God’s forgiveness; now as she turned from angels, her search for truth was rewarded as the risen Lord appeared to her. She knew him not at first sight, yet she again asked the question, that no one had been able to answer.

He called her by name, and she knew Him. She cried out with the strands of joy that knew no bounds. “Rabonni!” How she longed to feel his strong embrace, his sacred heart beating against her own. He told her that she must not hold onto him ; He, who was no longer human and forever divine. He must go now and return to His Father and he told her to tell the others.” Go to my brothers and tell them I am returning to my Father and to your Father!”


Cynthia Lamanna is a writer from California, and may be reached at