Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Beyond Belief

Matthew 28:1-7

After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white.

The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move. The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

"Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message."


So, if you were looking for a bit of cataclysmic action, Matthew's version of events is a little more like it. The earth reeled and a shining angel appeared; lightning blazing from him - that must have been a sight to behold. And the guards, more afraid than the women; showed how little regard Matthew had for the Romans. But the bolts are from Heaven, the angel is from the Father and Jesus is still not around.

There seems to be very little the Gospel writers can do to make the account of the Resurrection action-packed. And, perhaps, out of all the requests for evidence, for proof - this is it. That it is beyond exaggeration, beyond story-telling, it happened, no-one is ever going to tell you how, and it is up to you to believe it, or not.

If you believe it, even if you believe with all your heart and mind and soul, the truth is that you will never convince another - the Resurrection is not an event that translates - they will have to make their own journey through a dark night and a dawn-lit garden to the empty tomb and decide for themselves.

wordinthehand 2009

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