Four Easter Stories: The Meadow For Metaphor, 1

An insightful and compassionate teacher was put to death. He died on a Friday, too late in the day to bury him. The next day, Saturday, was the Jewish Sabbath. Jesus and all his followers were good, observing Jews, so the body could not be properly prepared and buried on the Sabbath. They had to wait until Sunday for the burial. The body was placed in a temporary tomb – a small cave cut into the side of the hill. The doors were heavy stone circles that ran on a track. What happened next is a matter of some disagreement among the writers of the four gospels.
John: On Sunday morning Mary Magdalene went by herself.

Matthew: No, two women, Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary,” went to the tomb.

Mark: No, three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went.

Luke: An indeterminate number of women – at least four -- went to the tomb.

John: She . . .

Matthew, Mark, and Luke: They . . .

John: took spices to prepare the body for burial.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke: Right.

John: Mary went in the pre-dawn darkness.

Matthew: The women went when the day was dawning.

Luke: (agreeing) When the day was dawning.

Mark: No. The sun had already risen.

John: When Mary . . .

Matthew, Mark, and Luke: The women . . .

John: Got there, she . . .

Matthew, Mark, and Luke: They . . .

Matthew: They arrived just in time to see an angel roll the stone back.

Mark, Luke, and John: They found the stone already rolled back.

Matthew: The two women saw an angel and some guards.

Mark: The three women entered the tomb and saw “a young man dressed in a white robe”

Luke: The group of four or more women saw “two men in dazzling robes.”

John: Mary Magdalene, alone, saw no one at all until after she returned from the tomb, and told two of the disciples that the body was missing. All three of them returned again to the tomb. They still saw nothing but linen wrappings. The disciples left Mary alone crying. Only then did she look into the tomb and see "two angels in white."
However we tell it, the tomb was empty. What had been taken for dead, wasn’t. And a whole new world of possibility was suddenly open.

* * *
This is part 1 of 5 of "The Meadow For Metaphor"
See also
Part 2: Who Have You Buried?
Part 3: Matt & Luke
Part 4: You are Mary
Part 5: True Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment