Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday: A Rock; a Resurrection and Redemption

The early morning was dark and damp.  The  three women made their way to the tomb.  Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome were bringing the spices they had prepared to anoint Jesus' Body.  They had to pass the place of the Skull...Golgotha.  The thought of that horrible place made the women colder than before.  The sun began to peak through the horizon.  It seemed brighter than usual.  The women squinted as the rays pierced the darkness.  Suddenly it was if the ground was trembling and the sound of thunder rumbled in the distance.  They wondered how they could move the stone that covered the entrance.

They came to the garden where the tomb was located.  Something was different. The enormous stone was moved from the opening!  There was a man sitting on it.  He was dressed in white, and said to us, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?"  "You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified and was buried here.  He is risen, just as He said!  Go and tell His disciples to meet Him in Galilee.  He will see them there."  The women ran from the tomb to tell the disciples.  They were too frightened to tell anyone else.
When the women told us what had happened, John and I immediately took off and ran to the tomb.  We ran inside, and saw the linens that had been wrapped around Jesus' body all folded up and laying in a stack.  The piece that covered His Face was laying next to it.  John believed right away, that Jesus' promise was true!  I didn't know what to think.  We ran back to the other disciples and then prepared to go to Galilee.  I hoped in my heart that Jesus could forgive me.  I loved Him, and would do whatever He asked of me from now on.
We were surprised when many of the soldiers that were guarding the tomb came in the temple.  One of them told us, "At dawn there was an earthquake. Suddenly the stone was rolled away and the Body of Jesus was gone!  He must have risen as He said."
Some of my fellow priests hatched a plan to bribe the guards with money to say that they had fallen asleep and the disciples came and moved the body of Jesus.  They agreed to it, took the money, and left.  I have a feeling that story is going to be around for a long time.
As for me, I was filled with joy and couldn't wait to tell Joseph of Arimethia!  He is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed!!!
The Soldier
At dawn, I felt something was the ground itself, and there was a loud noise.  I didn't know what to think.  I looked at the other guards and suddenly we saw two men in white appear and touch the massive stone that covered the entrance to the tomb.  I saw a Man walk...out...of...the...tomb!  It was Jesus!  Whole and unharmed!  I closed my eyes and fell to my knees.  I didn't have to say a word out loud, about my sorrow of the participation in His death.  I knew in my heart that He understood and had forgiven me.  When I opened my eyes, He was gone.  The men in white were still there.  The other guards were fleeing.  Some in the direction of Jerusalem...others to the countryside.  I left in the direction of my home.  I had to go and speak to my family about all I had seen and heard.  My life would never be the same again.
Jesus met with the disciples in Galilee as He said.  He told them to not be afraid, that He was sending the Comforter to be with them.  He told them, "Go to all the nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to do everything I have told you. Know I am with you always, until the end of the world."

He is Risen.  He is Risen, indeed.

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