THE PROMISE OF LIFE – Site of the Tomb, Emmaus, Galilee
“Sir, I am not one to cast doubt, but some might say that all of this may have been staged.”
“I do not believe so, Cestus. However, it is important to have proof even if it is for posterity sake.”
“Sir, I suggest witnesses.”
“Ah yes, the guards… Where do you think they would have gone?”
“They dare not report back to barracks. That would mean instant execution for deserting their guard duty.”
“So, what do you think, Cestus?”
“I think, sir, they will run. And some will head South for Egypt.”
“Right! You take my horse and get some of our men. Go to En Gedi. I am certain they will go there first. Go capture them. We will go to Bethany. They will have news there.”
By the afternoon, they arrived at the house of Simon the leper. The old man was there with his son and two daughters.
Cornelius asked, “Is there news of the Lord?”
Old man Simon said, “Mostly rumors. However, we have a woman here who says she had seen and talked to him.”
The woman was Mary of Magdala. She was one of the women who helped bury Jesus. When she saw Cornelius, she smiled and said, “I have seen the Lord. He has risen!”
“I know Mary. Tell me all.”
The Sabbath was over. It was very early in the morning when Mary of Magdala, and another Mary, the mother of James, and Salome were bringing more spices to complete the burial process that was not finished because of the Sabbath. They were discussing on how they were going to roll the heavy cover stone when an abrupt earthquake shook the ground under them. Not long after, soldiers were frantically running past them. One was hysterically shouting that they saw ‘ghosts’. When they came upon the tomb, the stone was rolled far away. When they looked into the tomb, the body was gone. So, they panicked and went to where they knew some of the disciples were staying in the old city. It was Mary that told Peter and John. They in turn ran to the tomb themselves. When Mary returned to the tomb by herself. For awhile she wept out loud outside then she entered the tomb again and to her surprise, two men were there.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
Then she heard a call. She turned around and saw another man standing there. She thought she recognized him but could not put her finger on it.
The man said, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She wondered if he was the gardener. So, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
Then he softly said to her, “Mary! Do you not know Me?”
As she looked closer, it was the face of Jesus as she remembered him but yet different. Mary then fell on her knees and hugged his legs, crying “Rabboni!”
Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”
[Italics – John 20:11-17]
Then Jesus helped her to her feet, turned her and said, “Now, go Mary…”
When she turned around, he was gone. But she knew it was no dream. She went again to the disciples and told them what he told her. She went to every house of the Lord’s followers until she arrived here in Bethany.
The story continues on in my next post.
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