Continued from yesterday’s post:
Is Trust on Sunday Shattered or Sacred? If you haven’t been reading along with us, I recommend you click the follow link and read the previous post before reading this one: Trust Come Sunday Morning, Shattered or Sacred? And there are links to all the previous posts below so you can catch up and the story make sense.
Let’s get back to today’s story –
An Empty Tomb
I stand here, leaning against the entrance to an empty tomb and watch John stare at the burial linens. I feel lost, and alone. Unable to wrap my head around what’s happening. Jesus is dead. Everyone here, except Peter and I, watched him die on the cross three days ago. We came to embalm his body this morning, but the angel man said he is alive.
What could all this mean?
What could have happened?
I am so confused.
At last I turn away.
There comes Mary Magdalene again. Come on, let’s get out of here. We need to get back to the cave. I don’t want anyone to see us and accuse us of not only being followers of Jesus, but now, of stealing his body.
I wish John would come out of the tomb and walk with us. Just being with him would make me feel better.
Are you light headed? I am. And I’m sick to my stomach. I feel like I could throw up any second. I cannot accept what the angel said. I don’t believe it. How could a person dead for three days come back to life. There’s no way.
Well, yes, there is that. But Jesus did that for Lazarus. And Jesus is dead. No one can do it for him. And if he’s dead . . . he’s dead. Remember? Stone, cold, dead. Remember?
Come on. Let’s go back following the little stream that runs from of the bottom of the quarry. We shouldn’t run into any people that way and hopefully if we do, they won’t question why we’re there.
The going is much slower following the stream because there is no trail. We work our way through the wild olive and apricot trees, past a picturesque meadow where two deer peacefully graze. The bubbling stream washes away a bit of my fear. But the despair grows. I don’t know who or what to trust. I’m as lost as the leaf floating in the stream beside me. I thought Jesus was the hope for all people. But they murdered him. And now…nothing makes sense.
We walk along in silence.
At last we make our way back to the cave and go inside.
A few more of Jesus’ followers have found the cave and seek safety.
I can’t help but wonder, is it safety in numbers, or ease for large scale slaughter by Roman soldiers.
I’m in a fine state of mine.
Oh look, is that your cousin?
Yes, I thought so.
Let’s go talk to her.
As we work our way toward your cousin there’s a commotion behind us. Someone’s at the mouth of the cave yelling. Great, they’ve found us!
There’s a mass push of bodies farther into the darkest areas. You and I reach your cousin and we all scurry like rats up against a wall.
Above the noise I hear the word “Alive”.
Straining to listen, I hear it again, “Alive“.
I belt out, “Everyone please! Quite! Let the man speak!”
Out of breath from running Phillip of Tarsus declares, “Jesus is alive! Mary Magdalene saw Him!
A collective gasp echoes against the cool walls of the cave.
From somewhere in the back comes a loud “No! I don’t believe it.”
And, “It’s a ploy to get us to leave the cave so they can kill us!”
“He’s dead. We watched it. Remember?”
“I’m not going out there to be crucified like they did him!”
All through the crowd you can hear “ya”, “yes”, “he’s dead”. You almost smell the anger build.
What Can We Trust?
Oh great, there it is again – the unbelievable news. At this point I don’t trust any of this myself. Even after witnessing the scene at the tomb. But I know I have to say something to stop the growing trend.
“Wait! Hear him out. I think there may be more truth to this than any of us can imagine.” After the crowd has quieted some, “Ok, Phillip, please, go on.”
“Thank you. The two Mary’s ran back to tell us that Jesus’ body was missing”
Another collective gasp, followed by whispers.
“Shush, let him talk.”
“Peter and John ran back to the tomb with her and saw the empty burial linens. They left, she stayed. She turned to leave and a man there asked why she was crying, who she was looking for. She was embarrassed that a stranger had seen her crying so she didn’t turn to look at him, but asked, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Then, supposedly, Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She says she turned and saw it was him! He wouldn’t let her touch him, but she says he was alive, not a spirit, not a ghost. He sent her back to tell the disciples he is alive and will come to them soon.”
Someone from the back of the cave clears their throat and says, “Sure. Whatever.”
Someone else cried, “Lies! Stone her!”
Murmurs work their way through the crowd.
Don’t Make Me Do It
I look at you and shake my head, stammering “Should. . .should we tell them. . .what the angel said?”
“Yes, you’re right, we have to. You do it. They know you.”
You yell into the crowd, “Listen, I said Listen! I think this may be true. . . My friend here and I went with the women this morning, including Mary Magdalene, to anoint Jesus’ body for burial . . . but it wasn’t there. (The crowd gasps again and whispers erupt.) Then, and I know this is going to sound strange, it still is to me, and we witnessed it. . . two angels appeared. One of them said, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?”
“We were, no, are, very confused. . . and frankly. . . I’m embarrassed to say, we slunk away and hid out of fear and confusion. But now, (sigh) maybe. . .there is some truth to this. Did Jesus not tell us while he was in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again”.
The crowd murmurs.
“Rather than over react, I think we need to wait and pray, and see what happens. The truth will be revealed if he is alive. Through prayer we will be shown who and what we can trust. Because, right now, I don’t trust my own ears or my own eyes.”
Do You Want to Hear The Rest of the Story?
Click HERE to subscribe and even miss a post! I PROMISE to never share your name or email with any one, any where, ever.
Links to the previous Trust Series Posts: