Sunday, April 01, 2018

Making Sense of the Empty Tomb

John 20:1-18 by Rev. Susan Lukey
Series:Why Bother - Winter 2018

An empty tomb! That’s what the disciples, the men and women who had faithfully followed Jesus for the three years of his ministry, found on that Sunday morning almost 2,000 years ago. An empty tomb! According to the account in the gospel of John, Mary Magdalene arrived first and discovered the stone, used to block the entrance to the tomb, had been rolled away. That was strange enough, since it would have been a stone too large for any one person to move. Then she peeked in, with a bit of trepidation I imagine, and saw that Jesus’ body was gone. Immediately, Mary ran back to tell Simon Peter and the others. An empty tomb! That’s what Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved – that’s what they discovered after their foot race to the tomb – Peter lost that race, but was the first to actually enter the tomb. An empty tomb! But, we are told, the linen wrappings that would have been wound around Jesus’ body were still there, as well as the burial cloth that had covered his head. And, just so we get the fact that this a very intentional and purpose-filled moment, we are told that the linens have been neatly folded up, that the cloth covering the head was placed separately from the other linens. An empty tomb! This is no joke. This is no set-up by the disciples to make it look as if Jesus had risen from the dead. This is no arrangement by the Romans to play games with Jesus’ disciples. Something amazing, miraculous, intentional, and astounding has happened here. That’s the point of the story. An empty tomb! It is quite easy to be caught and held in place by this empty tomb.
Duration:18 mins 23 secs