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John’s gospel post 83: Happy day!

April 20, 2014

  John 20:1-18

Jesus cries victory. Like Braveheart. FREEEEEEEEEEEEDOM!

And dies. What kind of victory is this?

Body laid in a tomb. Not even time to bury him properly.

The Sabbath is out of the way. The people who condemned the innocent Son of God to death have spent 24 hours being religious.

Now it’s ok to attend to the business of burial. Mary Magdalene is on her way to the tomb.

Early morning. In the early morning gloom. To a place of gloom. A place of death.

The heavy stone set to secure the tomb against all comers is gone!

She comes running to Simon Peter and that other disciple who is too humble to name himself. John.

The body is gone. ‘They’ have taken the body.

They? Who?

Peter and John set out for the tomb. The tradition of the Sunday morning run began here. But they’re not jogging!

Confused. Desperate. Panicked. They run. 2 men. It’s no contest. John has got the legs, maybe he’s the younger. No contest. He reaches the tomb first.

He can see strips of cloth in the tomb as he bends over panting. Deep breaths. He does not go in.

Peter may not be so fast but he’s never been the one to hold back. He scrambles past into the tomb.

The strips of cloth that had wrapped Jesus’ head and body neatly folded. Empty.

John enters in too.

And he believes. Jesus predicted his death. They hated it when he said that. Peter had told him what for. But he did say….

The third day….

He did say….

“Am I dreaming?”

“I WILL rise again”.

“I will rise again”.

John believes. But then he tells us that they still do not understand the resurrection bit. Dead men don’t rise. So what did he believe? Merely that the body had gone or was it dawning on him?

“I will rise again”.

So they head back to the others. Confused? Terrified?

Mary is still there at the tomb. Weeping tears of grief rage and despair.

She too is bent over at the tomb entrance. Those strips of cloth.

Those strips….

Those ANGELS! Seated where the head and feet of Jesus had been!

“Why are you crying?”

“‘They’ have taken the body away”. Who is this ‘they’?

As she motions with her arms she turns and standing before her is Jesus.

But she doesn’t recognise her master.

Something about the light? Her tears? His appearance? Or the fact that this is no corpse?

“Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

She replies to ‘the gardener'(?) “if you’ve put him somewhere please tell me”.

Presumably it’s quite a bit lighter by now. But one word brings all the lights on. One word takes the veil from her sight. One word cuts through her grief.

“Mary”.

Her name. Softly spoken. Full of compassion.

‘Mary’.

She knew! “Teacher”. She wanted to hug him. I mean what do you do in these situations?

But Jesus has work for her. “Go and tell the others I am leaving to go back to the Father”.

She runs all the way surely. For she is given the task of sharing the greatest news of all. “I have seen The Lord. He is alive!”

So why are you crying today? Are you looking for Jesus?

He is alive. He is there to be found. He can dry your tears. His shoulders are broad enough for you to cry on.

And he knows your name. Listen as he whispers it.

Let the mist of early morning clear in glorious resurrection LIGHT.

Feast your eyes on him.

And run run run.

You are his messenger. You who have seen him, reflect him to friends, family, colleagues.

Jesus is alive and well!

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From → Christianity

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