Monday, 23 April 2018

Easter 3 2018 Luke 24 36b-48

The women have seen Jesus but because they were women their 
resurrection appearance is discounted. Even today we find that woman are 
discounted as legal witnesses in many countries. Then he appeared to 
Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus and because they go back to 
Jerusalem to find the disciples they were talking, gossiping about Cleopas 
and his friends story on the road to Emmaus. And Jesus appeared, through 
locked doors! Scary stuff! And he said “Peace be upon you-Sallamm 
Malaichim, Sasidakahl, Shalom” Peace be upon you and your household. 
that Shalom that encompasses all we could ever need, the peace that 
passes all understanding. 

They thought that he was a ghost! Soi would I have done! And being forever 
perceptive he asks them why they are troubled! And some of them obviously 
thought-this cant be ~jesus. So he asked them to touch him. You cant touch a 
ghost! Look at my hands and my feet. It is me myself! Touch me and see; a 
ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And some of 
them still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, So we have a 
ghost with a gaping hole that you can feel. Or maybe it's just a story, a
comfortable way of resolving grief, collective transference. So to answer their 
doubts he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a 
piece of broiled fish(France), and he took it and ate it in their presence. 
And to the unbelieving shocked group of disciples he again as on the road to 
Emmaus showed them how he had fulfilled the law and the prophets. 
He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures(me after 
hearing Cicely Saunders-needed the Holy Spirit). He told them, “This is what 
is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and 
repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all
nations(ethnos), beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses (marturio) of 
these things. 

Have you ever doubted the existence of God? Many of at times have 
doubted. But our experience of God turns doubt into faith. God comes to us 
at strange times and jolts us from doubt to faith. We will not have the 
experience that the disciples had of feeling the holes where Jesus was 
pierced but something else cuts through and we believe. 
There are a number of resurrection stories. Jesus convinced the disciples he 
was alive, through convincing proofs, for 40 days after the resurrection. 
In all of them Jesus appears. In most of them he is initially not 
recognized(recognizing Jesus in others-Michael Taylor in the poor). In all of 
them he gives his peace and in all of them (except the garden tomb) the
setting is in the context of eating. There are eucharistic overtones. There may 
be a profound truth here that Jesus is always potentially to be found as we eat 
together. 

Gods Spirit is with us everywhere and in everything we go through on our 
journey of life. Be prepared for God to bump into the middle of the chaos of 
life. 
 
Ultimately It is only God who can convince us that God is with us even though we do cannot feel the marks of the crucified body of Jesus, although
maybe we have our own scars, our own crucifixions. Unlike ourselves God 
never loses faith in us, never doubts us. 

Easter Sunday 2018 Mark 16v1-8

 
 
So Mark is the earliest gospel written about 30 years after Jesus death by 
the young man who fled naked from Roman soldiers when they came to 
arrest Jesus. 
The story in Mark we have heard read to us today is short and descriptive. 
The Jews had a day off, the Sabbath when they couldn’t go shopping or do 
much. It went from sunrise to sunset. So as soon as they could some 
women who followed Jesus (its always the women who get it first!), collect 
some spices together and go to anoint Jesus body ready for burial. They 
were concerned about rolling the stone away from the tomb because it was 
heavy. It was sunrise. But it had already been rolled back. They went on 
into the tomb and encountered a young man dressed in white. And they 
were afraid. He however saw their fear and said “Don’t be afraid, Jesus 
who you are looking for, who was crucified has been raised. The young 
man told them to go and tell Peter and the disciples that Jesus was going 
to meet them in Galilee. They fled terrified and Mark says they said nothing 
to anybody. 
So who rolled the stone away on that Sunday morning? 
Where did the body go? 
Why was it never found? 
Who was the young man in white? 
At whatever level you relate to this story that many of you have heard 
many times before, there is a problem at the centre. Where was the body? 
If you don’t believe Jesus was raised from the dead, then where was the 
body? Somebody, the Romans, the Sanhedrin, the disciples would have 
found the body. Even if they burnt it, someone would know and it would get 
out. 
Also we have the problem that whatever happened, enough people 
encountered a risen Jesus, to cause a movement that changed history. 
I have a dream, that one day we will see a Christian movement, in this 
country made up of followers of Jesus, who are not dictated to rituals, to 
money or to buildings but to living by the dynamic of Gods Spirit and 
changing the world again. In the meantime we live in a society that is 
anything but Christian. 
In our own lives there is a part that has been killed, crucified and is dead and buried. My challenge to you, is that this Easter you will allow God to 
work in your lives so that part that was killed and buried, is resurrected. It 
is the pearl of great price, that the farmer found and sold everything to get 
it. Whatever that is for you do it. 
Nobody said this Christian stuff was easy. It is an x rated, violent story. To 
follow your soul, really follow it, you will encounter major difficulties, 
because good people do. But do it because you will regain your life. 
Whatever that is for you, I don’t know and it will be different for each one of 
us. 
If Jesus rose from the dead then that changes your life and mine. Don’t be 
dulled by nonsense, consumerism and people around you who believe 
differently. Start today to change, to change yourself and the world and 
follow this man who taught us how to live right, challenged the status quo 
and the religious and secular authorities. 
This is a call to action. If you do this then your life and the lives of others 
around you will change. 
Roll away the stone! 

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