Easter Sunday April 21st 2019 St Nicholas Church Gayton
1 Corinthians 15:19-26 John 29:1-18
Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!
A benefit for us in this glorious weather is we have spent time in the garden. We have moved the wood pile and hope that will be a good place for Spring flowers next year. Then the back garden has a vegetable patch, with potatoes and other vegetable seeds, flowers are coming through too.
What a pleasure a garden is, and in being the gardener, and even more so when at the end of the day you can sit outside with maybe a glass of wine or a cup of tea and just… well sit and watch.
This is the same for the Easter gardens, remember the time in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was waiting, the time in the Easter garden when we know that the tomb will be empty, but the time when they came to find Jesus again. And he was not there. There he was gone, as the say in Norfolk.
A garden can be just the place for spending time with God’s creation and time for some peace too. Being a gardener is a wonderful thing too, creating, allowing and constantly keeping watch.
The Easter story finishes with a garden but starts 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. An unbelievably horrific event.
Followed by Saturday, the holy day for the Jews.
And so to today, the good news that Jesus is risen. Jesus conquers death and is alive for us all.
We hear today from John’s gospel that Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene,
In the morning Mary Magdalene had gone to visit the tomb and see where they had laid his body. The Saturday was the Sabbath and no one would have been out and about, especially as the Feast of the Passover had been the main day.
We hear that she saw that the stone had been moved and she went to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them.
‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him’.
The disciples ran to the tomb and found that Jesus had gone, only linen wraps were left. We hear that the disciples returned to their homes.
I wonder what they would have been thinking. Frightened perhaps that they also would be caught, sad that all they had worked for had come to such a drastic end, and then distraught by the crucifixion.
In John we hear that Mary stood outside weeping and then saw two angels in white, sitting in the tomb, and said to Mary,’ Woman, why are you weeping?s
As she told them she turned around and saw Jesus but did not recognise him, thinking him to be the gardener, she asked if he could tell her where he had taken the body of Jesus.
But when Jesus said, “Mary!” she turned around and said,”Rabbouni”.
What did she feel? What else could she do? There is a lot unsaid in this passage.
But she went back to the disciples and later Peter also came to the tomb and saw that Jesus had gone.
We know that Jesus also appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, they 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 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.
And Jesus gives us forgiveness, he gives us love, he gives us a light to shine in the world.
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
It leads us in to an eternal life
And let us always remember he said,
I am here with you always, to the end of the age.
Happy Easter and Alleluia Christ is Risen. Amen
Rev’d Sue Martin