There's No Way He Can Be Alive -- Is There?

I've never felt so ashamed in all my life. 

He told me it would happen "This very night you will all fall away on account of me.”

"Oh, no, Jesus," I said. "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

"I tell you the truth,” he said, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

"Lord, Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you."

 All the other disciples said the same. “We would never betray you.”

But we did. Miserable lot of us all. 

Oh, I swung a sword and lopped off a guy’s ear, but when it really mattered –  I let him down. A servant girl. A little servant girl. She recognized my accent. Said I was a Galilean. That I’d been with Jesus.

I cursed. Oh, how I cursed.  I. DO. NOT. KNOW HIM.

And then the rooster crowed. And he looked at me.  Not angry. Not disappointed. Just . . . . unbelievably . . . sad.

My heart cracked in two. Oh how I wished I could take it all back. Have another chance to make him proud. But when I looked up again, they were leading him away . . . I have never cried harder in all my life. After all he’d done for me . . .

I don’t know why we gathered together that first day of the week. We’d been hiding all weekend, scared to death that the Roman soldiers would come to arrest us. But misery loves company, I guess. And we’d all failed him. 

“Jesus’ disciples.” How we loved to be called that. And loved to be seen with him – until the one time it really mattered. Then we ran like rats. What a bunch of losers.

And when the women came banging on the door – scared us to death. Was this it? Were the soldiers coming for us? We wouldn’t open the door until finally they shouted so loudly we recognized their voices and let them in.

They were all shouting and talking all a the same time – Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Mary Magdalene. And they weren’t making any sense. They said they’d been to the tomb. But then there was an angel. And then they saw a gardener, only it wasn’t a gardener. And he said Mary’s name and she recognized him . . . And it was Jesus. . . more alive than he’d ever been. Talking with them. Something about going into Galilee . . .

It was all nonsense. We didn’t believe them.

And then Mary said something I couldn’t ignore “He said to tell the disciples . . . and Peter. . . . Peter, he mentioned you – by name. He wanted you to know.”

I looked at John, and he looked at me, and we ran out the door. For a moment, we weren’t thinking about Roman soldiers or the Pharisees, or getting arrested. All we could think of was Jesus.

Maybe we were wrong . . . But how? How could we be wrong? We saw them kill him.

We both ran toward the garden, then John ran on ahead. We found the stone and the empty tomb just the way that Mary’d said. John stopped at the entrance and peeked in. I barreled past him.

There was the stone slab they’d laid him on, and the burial cloths, but they were . . . empty. And the strangest thing – the face cloth – it was folded neatly, and placed off to the side, like you’d set aside something you’d used, but didn’t need any more. 

I don’t know what to make of it. I just don’t know . . . There’s no way he could be alive. . .

Is there?

(This post is based on Luke 21:1-12 and John 20:1-10.)

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