Easter Sunday April 16th 2017



John 20:1-1-18

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

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.

And so to today, the good news that Jesus is risen.

But let’s go back to that tomb, the tomb given by Joseph of Arimathea. 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. In John we hear that they saw that the stone had been moved and in Matthew we hear that an angel had rolled back the stone and was sitting there.

‘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. Jesus risen from the dead, alive and with us, here, now and forever.

The cross that we wear and the cross that he bore gives us the light to walk out into the world and proclaim him Lord, It takes away the power of darkness, it takes away the things that we do wrong and leads us in to an eternal life.

It is a love proclaimed, God who sent his only Son to be with us to show his love for all his people.

We are lucky, lucky indeed. We know the story and maybe even feel a tiny bit of complacency  about how we might have reacted if we had been there. I wonder if you really think that.

The crowds who shouted for him to be crucified, surely we wouldn’t have done that, we are peace loving people, that wouldn’t happen nowadays would it? Or wouldn’t it.

Judas who betrayed him. A disciple so fed up with the apparent lack of progress in the last few weeks, decided that he may as well benefit from the inevitable.

And Peter, trusty Peter, the rock. He denied knowing Jesus three times. But how else would he react when he knew that to admit to it would mean he also may be tried

I think we would have been much the same, I think we still are. And every time that we turn away from Jesus it is like doing one of these acts.

But Jesus gives us forgiveness, he gives us love, he gives us a light to shine in the world.

And let us always remember

I am here with you always, to the end of the age.

Happy Easter and Alleluia Christ is Risen

Rev’d Sue Martin