Summary: Easter Sunday: a monologue sermon preached in the character of Mary Magdalene.
Salome! Mary! Please, slow down! Please, I can’t keep up with you, not this early in the morning. Besides, it’s so cold, and I’m tired. And when we get there, we’re going to have to move that big stone. And that’s a really big stone! How are we going to do that if you wear yourselves out getting there? We’ll probably have to find someone to help us. Of course, at this hour, who would be around? Just slow down, please! What’s your hurry, anyway? He’s not going anywhere!
Wait! What? You say the stone is rolled away, well how did that happen? Let me see! Are you sure this is the right tomb? Maybe it’s this one…no, nevermind, that’s too big. Or over here? No, that’s not it either! This is the right one, but how did that stone get rolled away? And where’s Jesus? How could this be? Find the gardener, perhaps they have moved his body. We need to figure out where they have put him. Surely this isn’t the work of grave robbers! This is only the third day. And it’s not like he had anything with him; just his grave clothes. We haven’t even had time to prepare his body! Why would anyone do something like this?!? (Sits down, distressed.)
Oh! What are we going to do? This is terrible! We have to tell the disciples. But what are we going to say to them? They are going to be so disappointed! What if they blame it on us? What if they think we did something with Jesus’ body? They are going to be so angry. This is just awful! Maybe we should just leave. We don’t have to say anything to anybody. It’s early, no one would expect us to be here this early. They’ll never know. Then, at least, we won’t get blamed for whatever has happened here. He’s dead anyway, so what difference does it make? Maybe we can just roll this stone back into place and no one will ever know the difference. That will be easier anyway. We can just get back to normal, life as it was before he started preaching and stirring things up. What a relief! I was getting scared thinking of what it would be like to go on without him. I sure don’t want to be put on trial and mocked and beaten and crucified the way he was. This will be easier. (Leaving.) Let’s just put the stone back, head home, and pretend like none of this ever happened. We don’t have to say anything to anybody.
Whoa! What? I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there! How long have you been here? Are you the gardener? Well, who are you? Yes, yes, we are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified! Do you know what has happened to him? We are so worried. We just came to prepare his body and anoint him, but we can’t seem to find him. Do you know where he is? Have they moved Jesus somewhere? Please, tell me where we can find Jesus’ body!
I’m sorry, did I hear you correctly? You said he has been raised? (Returns to seat.) Raised. What exactly do you mean? Raised. Raised as in, you’ve moved his body to the tomb up on the hill? Well, that’s awfully kind of you, sir, but really we can’t afford…What? You want us to go and tell Peter and the other disciples? Well, what exactly do we tell them? I don’t understand what you’re saying to us! I mean, Jesus was dead two days ago, we laid him here after he was crucified. I don’t understand what exactly you want me to tell the disciples!
So, let me make sure I’ve got this right. We need to go and “tell the disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of us into Galilee. We will see him there, just as he told us.” Just as he told us. But what did he tell us? I don’t remember him saying anything about meeting us in Galilee. What was it he said? Sir? Sir? Where did you go? Oh….Jesus said so many things to us. He has been raised…just as he told us. I can’t possibly think of what that man was referring to. Raised. Just as he told us. Just as he told us…he is raised. He is raised! Oh! Raised! Just like he said all along! It’s true! He’s alive! Just as he told us!
It all started when Jesus was baptized. He came up out of the water, and that voice from heaven said, “This is my son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” Why was it so hard to understand what that meant? Jesus taught us over and over again. He kept telling us he was with us for only a short time and then he would go to the One who sent him. It was just as he said; such a short time. He told us that the Son of Man must be lifted up. But I didn’t really believe he was talking about himself. I didn’t think he was actually going to die, and now he’s gone for good. Even though he said, “I am going away and I am coming back to you.” Why isn’t he here now?