John 20 1 – 9
Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance.
She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.”
Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself.
Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
The first Easter parade was just a crowd of women going down the street where once they had sang Hosanna. Another time they had gone with him to death. Now it’s just themselves – two Marys, Joanna and other women. The parade was dull, without the one they followed – but they wanted to care for the body with spices and only the best.
And then it was all different. They saw no body, which frightened them more than any death could have. Then there were angels with strange messages but their heart believed quickly and they remembered what he had said. Often, he had talked of death and resurrection. He was the sort of man for whom evil and death could not be final.
They were then to go to the apostles…and they were to find out that caring for Christ’s body now would be a different thing. Women announcing this divine news to men – this was against the culture. But Jesus went against a lot of beliefs and prejudices.
Caring for the body of Christ now means caring for each other. They would spend the rest of their lives caring for the new body of Christ. And we’re the same in caring and being cared for. The risen Christ in all of us
We are his body. Not a word of God can be spoken without human words. God reaches us through each other.
The Easter parade now is of all of us following our risen Lord, following life that never dies, and the truth of the gospel that can keep us going. This is the love of the risen Lord which is the lifeblood of the church.
Jesus Christ you are risen, you are risen indeed, alleluia, alleluia.