Summary: What really happened that first Easter is that Jesus called his shot and made it

April 4, 2010

John 20:1-18

A man is driving along a highway and sees a rabbit jump out across the middle of the road. He swerves to avoid hitting it, but unfortunately the rabbit jumps right in front of the car. The driver, a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulls over and gets out to see what has become of the rabbit.

Much to his dismay, he sees that the rabbit was carrying a basket with colored eggs in it . The driver feels so awful that he has run over the Easter bunny that he begins to cry.

A young lady driving down the highway sees a man crying on the side of the road and pulls over. She steps out of the car and asks the man what's wrong.

“ I feel terrible,"! He explains, "I accidentally hit the Easter bunny and killed it."

The lady says, "Don't worry."

She runs to her car and pulls out a spray can. She walks over to the limp, dead rabbit, bends down, and sprays the contents onto the rabbit.

The rabbit jumps up, waves its paw at the two of them and hops off down the road.

Ten feet away the rabbit stops, turns around and waves again, he hops down the road another 10 feet, turns and waves, hops another ten feet, turns and waves, and repeats this again and again and again, until he hops out of sight.

The man is astonished.

He runs over to the woman and demands, "What is in that can? What did you spray on that rabbit?"

The woman turns the can around so that the man can read the label.

It says..........."Hair Spray - Restores life to dead hair, and adds permanent wave."

Today’s reading is held in high regard by the revised common lectionary. It is listed every year as the gospel reading for Easter.

It is by no means the earliest account of the resurrection, btw according to most Biblical scholars, that honor belong to the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:3-5, written in 55 AD, followed by Mark- 55-60 AD, then Luke-60 AD, next is Matthew-60-65 AD and finally John’s-85-99 AD, but it has been very influential, Numerous hymns and pictures have been inspired by this reading, throughout the ages not only because of its place in the RCL but because of John’s attention to dramatic and narrative detail.

Our reading starts off today with Mary Magdalene heading to the tomb while its dark….symbolism alert there, life without God is dark and dreary.

In all of the other Gospels, Mary Magdalene is accompanied by other women like Mary mother of James and Salome.

Back then, there were no such things as funeral home, so it was customary for the deceased loved one to come and anoint the body with perfume (remember the nard that we mention two weeks ago?)

Anyway, this was primarily more for the benefit of the loved ones. Anyone who has ever had a dead animal like a rabbit or a squirrel (heavens forbid it’s a skunk) lost in their yard somewhere knows that there isn’t enough perfume or spice in the world to cover up that smell; it was kinda their way of saying goodbye.

She arrives there and notices that the stone has been rolled away, out of sheer horror at the fact that someone had taken Christ’s body, runs and fetches Peter and John –AKA “the one whom Jesus loved”

Apparently John missed the part in the beatitudes where it says blessed are the meek and humble, they shall inherit the earth.

Let’s get back to Mary, we established a couple of weeks ago that her and Jesus were great friends, that when one hurt, the other did as well. She is called by some Biblical scholars the “unofficial” thirteenth apostle. So we KNOW that she has heard Jesus speak of his death and resurrection at least ONCE:

Luke 24:6-7 –two men in dazzling white suddenly appear to the ladies and say "He is not here, but He has risen Remember how He spoke to you (F)while He was still in Galilee, 7saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."

One of his followers, one of his BEST friends, lacked the faith to surrender completely to the power of Jesus Christ.

Peter and John literally raced to the tomb and I think John did it out of sheer excitement and curiosity and Peter was trying to make up for denying Christ the night before he died by getting there first.

John got there first, saw the tomb was empty and stopped and then Peter ran in saw the wrappings. John then joined him and although they did not understand the OT scripture which foretold of his death and resurrection they BELIEVED in his resurrection….I don’t understand the flight manual for an F-117 stealth fighter, but I do believe they can fly.

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