Jesus Dispels Our Fears

Easter Sunday 16th April 2017 Year A

The gospel text for today is from John 20:1-18. In summary, the story is in two parts. The first part see’s Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and the ‘other disciple whom Jesus loved’ (John supposedly) go to the tomb in which Jesus’ body was put into following his death. But, it is empty and they do not know whatever has happened to Jesus’ body. There is nothing in the tomb other than the linen wrappings used to wrap Jesus’ head after he had died.

One of the things I note from the text is that Peter does not hesitate to enter the tomb. The other disciple, whom Jesus loved, only peers into it from a distance. He may have been fearful to enter the tomb at first. The text suggests Mary didn’t go into the tomb as well. It states that Mary saw the stone that was used to cover the entrance of the tomb was no longer where it should have been. So she turns and runs to tell the disciples. Why didn’t Mary go into the tomb?

The second part of the text is in contrast to the first. Mary is weeping. It is while in a state of trauma that Mary decides to look into the tomb and encounters Jesus. Mary lays aside her fears to look into the tomb. In doing so, Jesus gives her the task of delivering the good news to the deflated disciples. I can just imagine the smile on Mary’s face and the skip in her steps as she excitedly runs to deliver the good news to them.

So, friends my challenge for you is to respond to the question: What do you fear at the moment? The good news from the story from the gospel of John is that when we enter into and engage with the things that we fear most, just as Mary, we too can discover the Lord right there with us. And knowing this fills us with hope, joy and confidence for living.

That’s the message of Easter – at the cross, Jesus encounters us with hope and encouragement for living. Friends, my prayer for you is that you would encounter Jesus the risen Lord in a new and exciting way. May you be filled with courage to tell everyone about it!

He is risen!

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