Recently in St John’s we had the ‘Easter Experience’ – A set of displays telling the whole Easter story from Palm Sunday through the Last Supper to the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The children from the Primary School were asked to come and look at each display, hear that part of the story, ask questions and do something creative at each ‘station’.
The last display features the tomb in which Jesus body was buried, now empty, with the stone rolled away. A light shines from inside, and the folded grave clothes are visible. When the children were asked what they would feel if they had come to the tomb expecting to pay their respects, and found the body of Jesus gone, one boy replied – ‘I’d be creeped out!’ Quite right! Easter is an amazing time of joy as we celebrate the new life of Jesus, which we are invited to share in – but it starts with a big shock.
These days, most of us have heard the story from beginning to end, many times over, so the ending of the story is no longer a surprise to us. For the first disciples, the first reactions would have been shock, incomprehension and being ‘creeped out!’ The resurrection of Christ tells us that God is alive and active in the world today, and that he seeks us out. At first, realizing this may make us feel ‘creeped out’. But the Jesus who comes searching for us, has good things in mind for us, and leads us quickly from fear into joy.