The Ghost and the Empty Tomb

by joanabagano

If your past continues to haunt you, then be comforted that it is already a ghost — long dead. It can’t hurt you, but it will make you cripple in fear if you let it. The ghost will try to lead you, as it always has, and bring you back to the grave of your past foibles and sins, a place you have once tried to adorn with flowers and fill with candles. There could have been times when you stormed the place with a shovel, not quite sure whether you will bury something or unearth it.

Maybe now you will have the strength to say ‘no’ to the ghost, and invite it to tea instead. Welcome it with open arms, befriend it, understand that it will forever remain in the small, dark corner at the back of your mind. However, remember what your math teachers always told you back then, and what Alexander Pope echoed, “Tis but a part we see, and not the whole.”

Your past is not who you are. The thorn in your flesh is not you. Over tea and what’s left of your bread, ever gently tell the ghost that you have your present demons to face, and that it is not in your schedule to open wounds that have started to heal. Tell it that yes, you will every now and again be tempted to follow it into the coldest of night, but that once you’re freezing and overwhelmed by the thought of the sorry being that you are, you will remember that you have brought with you a pocketful of dreams and the warmth of the promises of God and some more bread to last you the way back.

Warn the ghost that you will have to abandon it, not just once, but a hundred times, and as many times return to the present and closer to the future, away from the grave and nearer the empty tomb where the stone was rolled away. There, you will repeatedly wonder where the body went, who could have taken it, and why it was of any interest to anyone. You will bite off a piece of your bread, chew it with diligence, and sigh.

Any minute now He will show up. He always does. Do not be frightened. Do not be startled at the sight of what seems to be another ghost.

Look at His hands and feet. Touch Him and see. He is real, you will tell yourself. More real than anything you have ever placed your hands on. Then, you will be wondering how you were able to find the strength to let your past go and why you are still living and breathing despite the many times you felt you have been buried, by yourselfwith your own shovel, by others with their threats and accusations, by this world with its brokenness.

This man, He will tell you, “I am your ‘how’. I am your ‘why’.” He will tirelessly repeat this over the course of this life you have cursed and blessed. You will forget His words, but you will also remember. It doesn’t matter now, the truth will never change.

You have been a witness of the empty tomb countless times already — now, declare again, all your ghosts are gone, what remains is Christ. Invite Him for dinner. Open your cupboard and give Him a piece of broiled fish on the best plate you could afford, a feast which you did not offer the former ghost because you felt that this was meant for something and Someone so much more special.

Happy Easter, folks. 🙂