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St Johns Southgate

18 Mar 2013

‘Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed.’ (John 20:8)

The disciples must have felt so empty, so confused, so down-hearted.  After what seemed like a whirlwind of events, Jesus was dead.  It seemed as if their lives had come to a standstill.  So many promises, so many words of hope and encouragement, so much love — and now it was all buried in the grave.  If you were able to see the disciples that weekend, I’m sure you’d see them sitting silently, looking into themselves, not quite believing what had happened.

But how their hearts must have leaped that Sunday morning!  An empty tomb, the report of Mary: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ Jesus alive —could it be possible?  It’s not the end, but just the beginning!  Jesus is alive, death could not defeat him, he’s broken out of the grave and is alive.  That’s really something!  That’s really special!  He is risen!

Jesus stands before Mary and calls her name.  She can’t believe that it could be Jesus.  How could it be?  But he calls her name, and when she hears his voice she knows: It is true, he is alive!

Jesus came to bring life.  That’s the message of John’s gospel, and now that message becomes really clear.  He is not just someone speaking nice-sounding words, but his words are true.  He is what he said: He is Life!  He calls us, even the residents of Southbank, by name, just as he called Mary’s.  He says: `Here I am!  All my life I lived for you.  I died for you!  Now I am alive for you!  Believe in me!  Serve me!  I am your Lord!’

He lives!  That’s enough to make our hearts beat faster!  That’s enough to fill our lives with meaning and purpose!  We have a joy that no one can take away.  That same Jesus is alive and with us right now, and all the words of comfort and promise and hope are not buried in the ground, but they are living and able to work in us and for us.  That’s great news!


Pastor Ian

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