An early morning meeting in a garden, a long afternoon walk, a surprise late
night visit to a locked room, a breakfast barbeque on a beach, a
disappearing act on a hilltop. It sounds like a mixed bag of events, but they
share a common feature – Jesus.
Not just Jesus, but Jesus who had been dead, and was now alive.
They share another common feature too – people who
found it hard to
Just a couple of weeks ago, I met a group of people I’ve
known some years, people I was even expecting to meet,
but I still took a second or two to recognize them, because
they were dressed for a wedding rather than in their work
If just the way someone is dressed can slow down me
recognising them, how much more if the person I met
were someone I knew was dead because I’d watched it happen and seen them
Of course they found it hard to recognize Jesus – they were no less intelligent,
nor more gullible than we are, and they knew that dead people stay dead.
But not this time!
Easter, like Christmas, is a season: there’s a lot of focus on the ‘main’ day, but
the churches’ celebration stretches much further. Easter season lasts 50 days:
40 between Easter Day and Ascension when Jesus physically left the earth.
During those 40 days, many people met Jesus in many different circumstances,
and the Gospel writers wrote about some of those meetings. They didn’t write
in ways to make themselves look good – they were honest about the doubts
But in the end, those people who met the alive-again Jesus were so convinced
that they were prepared to go through any persecution, and to die rather than
deny what they had seen.
They knew Jesus was alive. They knew this world is not the whole story. They
knew their sins were forgiven. They knew they were accepted by God. And they
knew nothing was going to take that away from them.
Take a good, hard look at the Easter story – and when you do, I pray that you
will find that same knowledge, and be able to say, with the church throughout
the centuries, “Alleluia, Christ is risen!”