Wellspring of the Gospel


Year A: Easter Sunday

Gospel: John 20: 1-9

It was still dark when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb where Jesus had lain. She had seen Him buried - but in haste. She wanted to come and complete the work of anointing so that His body had at least some dignity and could rest in peace. Her desire was so great that she was prepared to go into a graveyard in the dark and, it seems, alone. There is little wonder, then, that she was so terrified to find that the stone had been rolled away and her beloved Lord’s body taken away. Who had taken Him? Grave robbers? The authorities? Where had He been taken and why?

The possibility of resurrection did not even cross her mind as she ran to tell the other disciples what she had found.

The possibility of resurrection did not occur to the others either. They ran to the tomb to see what had happened - and found it as Mary had said. The “other disciple” - probably John himself, looked in and saw the grave clothes wrapped around Jesus on Good Friday now lying on the floor. It was left to Peter to go right into the tomb and to find not only the cloths on the floor - but the cloth that had covered His head rolled up and put to one side.

The truth began to dawn on them. His body had not been stolen - He had risen, as He Himself had said He would.

The events later in the day show that they had not really understood what that meant. They presumed that He had risen as a ghost - or some kind of zombie - coming back to haunt them. They had no real idea what the risen life of Jesus was to mean.

For now, the struggle was to believe their eyes and begin to see that Jesus had risen from the dead.

It is a struggle that many people still have today. The authorities of the time maintained that the body of Jesus had been stolen away by the disciples - and paid the guards handsomely to say that this is what had happened. Some people believe that this might be true. Others try to reason it out - perhaps, He was not really dead after all - though given the degree of His suffering on Friday, it is unlikely that He would be capable of going very far by Sunday.

It is situation which we can discuss and question and query and worry over. Or, like the disciples, we can allow the truth to speak to our hearts in a way that may not always make sense to our heads... Deep down - the sense that Jesus is not dead - but gloriously alive

What does it mean for me?


Put yourself in the disciples’ shoes - and try to imagine what their feelings were as the events of the first Easter Sunday unfolded.

How do you know that Jesus is not dead?

Text © 2007 Wellspring

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