Every wondered where the 3 count in wrestling and other sports comes from? I’ve no idea whether there’s a link, but it made me smile to think of the resurrection of Jesus in that vein… It had been going so well- with the miracles (remember those?) and the teaching (putting those smug pharisees in their place) and the authority Jesus had- people listened because of how he spoke as well as what he said.
But then, while no one was looking- bam, a below the belt shot, or maybe a chair round the back of the head- betrayal and a sham trial, followed by a mob and a weak governor who is afraid of his own authority… If you’re unsure about all this, read the events in one of the Gospels- I’ve been looking through John chapters 18-21 this week: John 18 has the arrest and trial, chapter 19 contains his sentencing and death, while chapters 20 and 21 talk about, well, they talk about what happened next.
Jesus was dead. His friends were scattered and afraid. Mary Magdalene came to his tomb to pay her respects and to prepare the body- she wasn’t looking for a resurrected messiah- and on the same evening the disciples were locked away out of fear… not celebrating in the streets.
Its hard for me, and for many of us I guess, to return to that place of un-knowing- even if people don’t believe the Gospels, the story is so well known that we get to the death of Jesus already knowing it will be ok… but imagine you didn’t know that. Maybe the closest we can get is that sense of transition we experience as the words of the Bible become true to us- as we begin to realise that not only does the story say he rose again… but Jesus actually did rise from the dead 3 days after his death… that mixture of ‘what the?’ and ‘but what does this mean?’ and ‘how did that happen?’
And then we’re in that place, the same as the disciples… it happened, somehow… so how do we respond- what does it mean for the rest of my life, because this is true…