Easter Sunday – Christ is risen alleluia
It has been said that if you want to get to know someone, live with them for a while or go on holidays with them. They get to know you too! After a while all the quirks show up, and we get to know one another’s habits, from the way we dress, wash, clean up after ourselves and so on. It is always a source of amusement to hear of married couple’s experiences, and the unexpected things that tend to get under their skin about each other’s behaviour. One couple I know soon found themselves annoyed with how they squeezed the tube of toothpaste – one squeezed the tube in the middle to the annoyance of the other who felt it should be squeezed evenly and uniformly form the end! This I have heard called ‘weatherproofing’ – some call it ‘nagging’!
Another couple I know spoke of the annoyance of the wife - of how, in this case, the husband scraped excess unused butter from his knife back on the side of the butter dish!
It is the everyday things, the seemingly small things that grate, not the major crises that one would expect to challenge the relationship! One does not have to be married though to experience the petty annoyances that aggravate. Think of the things that our mothers used to drill in to us, hanging up our coats, bringing our dishes to the sink, doing our homework, going to bed, making our bed, and so on.
I labour the point because there is an extremely important detail, a clue, as it were, to the disciples’ final realisation that Jesus would – and did – rise from the dead. The disciples Peter and John, two of the three closest disciples to Jesus, are the first of the Apostles to see the empty tomb, undisturbed. What do they see that convinces them that Jesus had truly risen? The way his clothes were left after Him!
What do we read?
So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
The rolling up of the head cloth by itself is the ‘giveaway’. Jesus tidied up after Himself as He did in life in the three years that the disciples had got to know him.
So now, in the minds of the disciples, Jesus ‘pulls it off’ as it were. The trademark astonishment of the disciples, in this His greatest miracle, their failure to understand, now gives way to complete realisation –and most importantly faith, faith in who Jesus is.
The ultimate teaching today is that there is resurrection for all of our dead and for ourselves. The key to eternal life for us too is faith in the Risen Lord. As for our beloved dead are with God, and God is very near.