A fresh start
Late on Friday a group of women together prepare the body to be laid to rest. They don’t have time to finish before they have to stop for the Sabbath rest day. They lay the body in a tomb, intending to return after the Sabbath to complete the task.
Early on Sunday morning the first one to return is Mary Magdalen. She’s come to finish what needs to be done to the body, but to her horror the body is gone. Where can it be? Who has taken it?
She feels the presence of Jesus with her. Finally it dawns on her that Jesus has been raised to new life, just as he had taught. She runs to tell the rest of Jesus’ friends – Jesus lives, she proclaims. And the rest (as they say) is history.
It’s a story that sounds strange to us today. But it’s a story which people took seriously back in 1st century Jerusalem and which people all over the world take seriously still. It’s taken seriously because those early followers of Jesus experienced something. We don’t know what but it was enough to transform them … turning cowards hiding in the shadows into open and courageous preachers of Jesus and his new life.
That’s what we still preach today. Never more so than on Easter Sunday morning we will shout out together … ‘Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!’