Summary: Stories of life seem to be nonsince. The Easter message isses like it could be too. How does the story seem to us today?
Life is filled with things that don’t make since.
Terrorist attacks, Earthquakes, storms, floods, untimely death….death in general, cancer, Farfignugan, IRS Rules…. Hush, little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird, ….
Agatha Christie insisted that nonsense was “Completely unimportant. That is why it is so interesting!”
Nonsense is something that we identify in our own ways. It might be based on our education. Maybe the way we were raised. But I think most of the time it is based on our common sense as we view the world…what is good and bad, right and wrong true and false.
We experience nonsense in the way the news channels deal with certain news events or non-events.
We witness nonsense when people make excuses for drinking and driving.
We identify nonsense when some story is clearly untrue or there has clearly been a mistake in the details.
-- When children are young they often come to their parents with stories about the monster under the bed or in the closet. The parents react in a number of ways.
I suggest that it is a rare time when dad or mom jumps out of bed because they fully believe that the report is true.
They will get out of bed to comfort the child and often even go to a lot of trouble to show their child that it is safe and OK. They will take time to prove that there is no monster in their room and there never was. Often they try to explain that it was a dream, a bad dream and that everyone needs to calm down and go back to sleep.
Our scripture this morning could have a hint of nonsense in several ways.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
The women closest to Jesus seem to have no underlying idea that Jesus statements about rising from the dead after 3 days was true.
They did not just go and check out the cemetery to confirm His claim….they carried spices that they had purchased and prepared before the Passover festival.
They have invested money and time in order to properly and for all the right reasons to properly prepare the body and to mourn this deep loss.
It would be nonsense to believe that Jesus was not dead….they were witnesses to the crucifixion and they were also witnesses when the body was quickly moved and sealed in a tomb.
They were responding with love and boldness when very early in the morning they headed for the tomb. Then to arrive and find a shocking surprise…. The tomb was open even with soldiers with orders to seal it and the body was missing.
What can we imagine was going though their minds? The situation, the scene did not make any since. Before the writer can answer this question we learn that 2 men in GLEAMIMG white clothing appeared to them.
The ladies respond out of fright, they bow down, perhaps just fall over on their faces covering their eyes and they face the ground.
I would probably shouted/squealed uncontrollably and either hit the ground too, or more likely took off out the door. That was a shocking thing to happen.
The men ask a question, perhaps rhetorical, I almost think with a sound of unbelief in their tone. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you 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 question is asking, why are you here….didn’t you believe your rabbi. That He would die and be raised?
The men are questioning women’s choice to believe that facts instead of the words of the teacher.
In the gleam of the clothing and words the light of their memory goes on! AND, “Then they remembered his words.”
Here we are this morning separated by a couple of thousand years. Most of us have been exposed to the different scriptures related to the resurrection of Jesus. We have heard the stories. We have sung the songs of celebration for the event. We are here in this place on this lovely day.
-- But have we come for a celebration or are we here with an idea of nonsense in the back of our minds?
We live in a scientific age where we expect everything to be proven and confirmed by tests and documentation. We expect to be able to see and understand things with our own eyes. Our culture tells us that there is no such thing as a free lunch. It tells us that religion is a crutch. Some people believe that everything we see, feel, hear, breath eat and drink is all just by chance and when we die the party is over.