And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag’dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo’me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?”
And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; — it was very large.
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”
Mk 16: 1-7
This, this Easter story, the resurrection – this is the unbelievable story of the gospels, the good news.
You can believe in the historical Jesus, you can believe that the way of life he preached is a good way to live, in service of others. But it takes faith to believe in the resurrection. To believe that death has been conquered, by Jesus and in Jesus for all of us.
That faith is a gift. It is also a challenge. In the sermon at church this morning faith was likened to being on monkey bars: you put your hands on the first two bars, launch your feet then …. you take the risk of letting go one hand to swing to the next bar, the risk of falling but maybe getting across, or you stay dangling there until you tire and fall. Faith is, in that old saying, letting go and letting God. We are challenged to live as Jesus taught not just because it’s a better way to live, here and now. To believe in the resurrection is to know that the love of God continues after earthly death. The story doesn’t end.
This is the day which the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures for ever!
Ps 118: 24, 29