Easter Sunday April 5th
Is there Hope?
Matthew 28:1- 10 Acts 10 34-43
Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!
What a week!
Quite a story, starting with the triumphal ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the humble donkey. Crowded streets, the place packed with people preparing for the feast of the Passover, Jesus turning over the tables in the temple, the Last Supper in the upstairs room, for fear of being found, the long night in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the capture by the soldiers, Jesus coming before Pontius Pilate, the crowds calling for him to be crucified and the release of Barabbas.
And then the crucifixion.
Saturday, the holy day for the Jews. What was that like then?
And so to today, the good news that Jesus is risen.! Alleluia!
This is the good news, the news we all share even today 2000 years after the event and it hasn’t changed, He is risen indeed Alleluia!
But let’s go back to that tomb, the tomb given by Joseph of Arimathea. There are tombs in Jerusalem just like the one given by Joseph and I have seen a later tomb where they think Joseph of Arimathea was later buried.
In the morning Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus had gone to visit the tomb and see where they had laid his body. It had been such a dreadful day on Friday their sorrow and grief were unmeasurable but together they walked to the tomb, maybe like us today to visit the gravesides of our relatives, in respect and in love.
In Matthew we hear that an angel had rolled back the stone and was sitting there. This is a very short passage, but it says all that is needed.
The guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women,
‘Do not be afraid, He is risen. Go and tell his disciples.’
What could have been in the minds of the two Mary’s – joy, exhilaration, fear, wonder.And then on the way to the disciples they met Jesus. Immediately they bowed down and worshipped him.
In the meantime the soldiers had described what had happened and the story was made that his body had been taken by the soldiers, for fear of reprisal from the crowds.
The eleven disciples were making their way to the mountain in Galilee, when Jesus appeared to them.Jesus said to them,
‘Remember I am with you always to the end of the age.’
And that surely is what the Easter message is about. Hope, resurrection, a life hereafter.
What happen to us in this world when we lose all hope? This is such a sad and miserable place to be, the depths of despair.
But Hope… Jesus gives us that hope forever, a love that never ends, a hope for all to be well, a love that is unconditional, a hope that one day we will all meet with Jesus.
Jesus risen from the dead, alive and with us, here, now and forever.
Rev’d Sue Martin Diocese of Norwich