‘And looking up, they saw that he stone was rolled back; for it was very large.’ (Mark16:4)

I hope that we shall have our usual Easter Day hunt for chocolate eggs around Catsfield Churchyard. Sadly we don’t have a safe nearby hill to indulge in a spot of egg rolling.  In egg rolling competitions the egg stands for the oval stone used to block the entrance of the tomb Jesus was buried. The rolling of the egg reminds us of the way the great stone was pushed away on Easter Day.

Eggs also remind us of new life and Easter Sunday is certainly a great celebration of that. On Good Friday Jesus’ friends and family were distraught as they watched Him die on the cross. They heard Him mutter words of forgiveness and love right to the end, but nothing could take away the pain of loss.

Still nursing their sadness a group of them walked through the market garden where Jesus was buried to pay their respects early on the Sunday morning. The dark early morning sky no doubt reflected their feelings of sadness and unhappiness. They must have been even more shocked when they found the stone rolled back and the grave empty. All sorts of questions must have gone through the minds ranging from were they at the wrong tomb to had Jesus’ body been stolen.

There is a very beautiful account of Mary Magdalene, one of the most faithful followers of Jesus, weeping outside the empty tomb. A man, she assumes is the gardener, asks her why she is crying and she answers ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.’ (John 20:15) Only when the gardener says her name does she realize that she is talking to the risen Jesus and rejoices that He is alive.

Jesus hasn’t just rolled back the big heavy stone of the tomb and temporarily come back to life. He has done something much more impressive and lasting. Jesus took on the bully of death by entering what St Peter (1 Peter 3:19) describes as ‘the prison’ of death. In lots of early pictures Jesus is shown literally blasting through the prison gates of death, so they can never be shut again. That means that we don’t have to be afraid of dying anymore. Although we shall all die, one day, death has lost its sting and we know that as Jesus rose, we can rise to new life with Him.

Father Michael

Posted By: valerie

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