Peter and John

The women hurry back, filled with joy and bewilderment, and report to the disciples what the angel had said.

The disciples… act like men of their culture. Women, eh? Unreliable. One step from crazy, all of them.

Remember, most Jewish men daily thanked God that they were not born a woman. It would have required a massive leap of imagination for rural fishermen to step outside of their cultural norms like that.

So they don’t believe them. In this particular it’s easy to get smug. We Know Better. But we have our own blind spots.

But Peter (impetuous Peter!) and John decide that someone should at least go and have a look. Peter was probably still stricken with remorse over his denial. John, who kows what was in his mind and heart.

With two burly fishermen involved, of course it becomes a race. John runs faster than Peter, gets to the tomb first. But he doesn’t enter in. Any contact with a dead body, even accidentally, would make him ritually unclean. It’s engrained in him from childhood: you don’t ever go into a tomb.

He peers inside, sees a glimpse of grave-wrappings.

Then Peter barrels up, pushing right past John into the tomb itself, heedless of the ritual consequences. Where was the Master? Was it true? Would he truly have a chance to somehow make up for having denied?

Inside are the grave garments: long strips of linen that were wound around the body, typically with spices to help mitigate the smell of decomposition.

But there’s something strange here. The grave clothes aren’t scattered around, as if someone were hastily unwrapping the corpse. They’re folded neatly: stacked to one side, with the head shroud separately.

What sort of weird grave-robber takes time to take off and fold the grave clothes in the tomb itself? Especially with a squad of Romans posted outside lest anyone try any funny business.

Could it be true? Was the women’s incredible story actually real?

Christ is risen…

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