He is alive!

It was still dark when she left her home. She made her way through the silent streets to the garden where his tomb lay. She felt troubled but the silence comforted her. She carried spices to anoint his body.

She reached the garden and walked down the pathways until she came to the place where the tomb lay. Her steps slowed as she drew nearer, then stopped. As she peered through the gloom, the entrance to the tomb looked darker than it should have done. Something wasn’t right.

Where was the stone?

She turned and ran, back the way she had come. The silence weighed down on her. She knew where to find two of his closest friends. She woke them and told them what she had seen.

“They’ve taken him, his body has gone from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him!”

His friends hurried to the garden. She followed in their wake. She watched them enter the tomb. Alone in the semi-darkness, her eyes darted about, she was poised, ready to run.

The two men came out of the tomb, approached her and shook their heads. One of them squeezed her hand as he passed. Then they left her.

She stood and wept. Moments passed. She moved slowly towards the tomb, bent down and peered inside. She needed to see for herself. She took a deep breath and raised her eyes to the place where his body should have been.

Her eyes widened. Two angels sat where he should have lain. They were dressed in white and they spoke to her.

“Woman, why are you crying?”

She replied.

“They have taken my Lord. I don’t know where they have put him.”

As she spoke the words aloud, she turned from the tomb. Her eyes flicked around the garden, seeking. Her hands grasped at her robe. She saw a man, standing where she had stood just moments before. He looked like a gardener.

“Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

She replied.

“Did you take him? Was it you, sir? Please, tell me where he is and I will get him.”

The gardener spoke again.

“Mary.”

She paused. She looked at him, full and long. And she knew. She turned to him and spoke.

“Teacher.”

He held up a hand and her eyes followed it.

“Don’t hold me,” he said. “I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them this: I am going back to my Father and your Father. I am going back to my God and your God.”

And then he smiled at her. She smiled back, nervously, with her eyes fixed on his.

Then she turned and left the garden. She walked back through the streets. She didn’t notice the silence because her head was full of questions. She went to where she knew she would find his friends and she told them.

“I have seen the Lord – he is alive!”

John 20: 1-18

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