Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

heavenIt’s 72 A.D. and Murphy, the non-disciple, sits with his family at the funeral of his son, Micky. They are near Capernaum, where Mick was killed in a construction accident. Murphy is getting on in years. While sitting with his wife, Murphy is approached by a neighbor, Sem, a Kurdish buddhist.

Sem (respectfully):May Mick be one with the universe.

Murphy: Hogwash.

Sem (surprised): What?!

Murphy: Hogwash. Mick is with Jesus right now in heaven.

Sem: That’s right, y’all are members of The Way.

Murphy: Quite right. I actually followed Jesus and spoke with him AFTER he didn’t die at the hands of the chief priests and Romans. Mick was a kid back then.

Sem: So, you believe in heaven? Where is it and what’s it like?

Murphy: Can’t say as I really know, but Jesus said there was such a place. When a guy who works signs and wonders rises from the dead says something, you can take it to the bank.

Sem: Does the Torah or any of your holy books teach about heaven?

Murphy: Can’t say for sure. I don’t really know the Scriptures like I should. But, if Jesus says it, I believe it. In fact, that’s why I believe the Jewish laws and prophets–Jesus did and that’s good enough for me.

Sem: I see. So, it’s all a matter of faith for you.

Murphy: Yep. Jesus said, “Life will be hard, but I go to prepare a place for you, that where I go you may be also.” I saw him live. I saw him die. I saw him alive again. AND, I saw him ascend into the sky.

Sem: Seriously?

Murphy: You can look it up. Dr. Luke wrote it all down for his friend Theophilus who lives in Alexandria, or maybe Antioch, by a library. There’s a copy of his letters down at our gathering place on the corner of Mud and Fish streets near my other son’s pub.

Sem: You believe Mick is with Jesus now?

Murphy: Yes, I do. Mick believed in the one who has risen. He repented of his sin, was baptized in the sea by Matthew the tax collector. Mick kept Jesus’ truth in his heart and acted graciously toward others.

Sem: That’s good.

Murphy: Yep. We’re parted for now, but we’ll meet up again. You wanna come along?

Tr8: Belief in Jesus settles our doubts about the hereafter. We may not know the answers, but we know the one who does.

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disciplesIt’s Sunday morning–early–and the disciples have straggled back to Mary’s house where they met for the last supper with Jesus. Andrew, Judas and Thomas are missing. The sun is just beginning to peek out of the east. The women are gathering supplies together to properly clean and prepare Jesus’ body.

The door shuts softly as the women leave. Andrew walks in.

Andrew (putting a jug of water on the table): Judas hung himself.

Silence…

Bartholomew: What was he thinking? We all knew he wanted a Jesus revolution, but really?!

Simon the Zealot (in mournful exasperation): Judas didn’t need to turn on Jesus…he just turned himself in!

Thaddeus (shaking his head): Yeah, crazy. Jesus had Jerusalem in the palm of his hand! They hailed him as Messiah when we entered town.

Matthew (thoughtfully): This makes no sense.

Simon: I really thought this was it. I thought everything was going to come together.

Nathaniel: It all DID come together. He raised Lazarus last week in front of God and everyone–including pharisees. He preached, taught, healed, cast out demons, walked on water, commanded a storm to stop–generally snappin’ out miracles right and left. Everybody in Judea heard of him–most of ’em were here to greet him as he entered Jerusalem.

Simon: This was going to be THE Passover of all Passovers since Egypt–I thought he was going to deliver us from Herod and Rome…maybe even without a fight…

Matthew: Hmm. Jesus said this was going to happen, remember? So, he KNEW this was coming. What were we thinking?!

Peter (walking to the window): Well, he’s dead now.

John: What are we going to do?

Silence.

James: He said to wait, so let’s wait. I’m not sure what for, though.

Peter: I suppose it’s for our safety–he wanted us to stay safe until things settled down. We’ll head back to Capernaum next week. Our dads still have their boats and we can take care of our families.

Andrew: Where’s Thomas?

John: He said he was going to the Temple to see what’s next. Boy, he’s not afraid of his Jesus association.

Peter: He’s smart–and stubborn. He’ll be okay.

James: So, Peter, what do we do now? You, John and I were with Jesus almost 24-7, so now what?

Peter: I think Jesus would say, “Get everyone together and pray for leadership from the Father.”

John: I agree. We don’t know what to do, but Jesus wouldn’t leave without providing for us. He said as much himself.

James: I agree.

Andrew: One thing is for sure. Jesus isn’t done with something until he’s done with something and this DOES NOT feel done.

Peter: I agree. You know he said. “ask and it’ll be given.” I believe that. Let’s pray.

They all gather in a circle and Peter raises his hands and they begin to pray.

Peter: Father, we are confused. We don’t know why Jesus was crucified. Please help us understand your will and continue Jesus’ ministry in…

The door bursts open and Mary Magellan bounds through the doorway trying to catch her breath. The other women are close behind her with troubled looks.

Mary (weeping): They’ve take him away! We went and the stone was rolled away. Where have they taken him?

The disciples are confused, troubled and angry. Peter and John rise and head for the door–John breaks into a run and Peter follows.

Peter (over his shoulder): We’ll get to the bottom of this!

Tr8: When confused, ignorant or questioning, pray. We are never alone or without help in times of need. NO ONE was prepared for Jesus resurrection.

 holy-week-timeline

 

 

It’s after the resurrection. Mary, Jesus’ mother, is sitting with Jesus at her cousin Mary’s house in Jerusalem. The upper room is upstairs — just as you’d expect. They are sitting on the front porch. Rhoda, Mary’s servant girl, is peeling potatoes. Jesus is whittling and Mary is mending socks.

Mary: Jude goes through socks like demons through a rock band.

Jesus: Yeah, but he’s getting better about changing them after football practice.

They sit silently for a minute. The sun is setting. Rhoda rises with a pan of potatoes and goes inside.

Mary (stops darning): I miss my parents sometimes.

Jesus: I know. They’re okay and pleased with you right now.

Mary: What?

Jesus: They are enjoying your mending Jude’s socks. They love you both.

Mary: They’re watching? We’re not alone?

Jesus: No. We’re never alone. If folks only knew. There’s a huge cloud of witnesses. What do you think happens when people die?

Mary: I don’t know. I mean, I know you’re here — you’ve risen. And I remember Peter and John talking about seeing you talking with Moses and Elijah before you left. Lazaras is back, which reminds me of the story you told about another Lazarus dipping his finger in the water.

Jesus (nodding): Yeah.

Mary: And I’ve seen angels. King Saul supposedly talked with Samuel’s ghost. So, I guess death is not the end. So, you’re saying my folks are watching us now?

Jesus: Yes. Sometimes they’re doing other stuff, but now they’re watching us.

Mary: Are they happy?

Jesus: Yes, they are. You can talk with them and they can hear. You see, reality is much greater and wider than you can see. There’s more behind the curtain, so to speak. Every now and then, people catch glimpses of the other side, like when I pulled the curtain aside so Peter, James and John could see Moses and Elijah. There are glimpses of glory all around, but humans miss it most of the time. There’s more than you can see.

Mary: Will I be able to watch Jude and the rest of the kids after I die?

Jesus (smiling): Yes. You’ll be amazed. I’ll let you in on a secret — well, it’s not a secret, it’s a truth most people don’t care about. Love never dies. We, all of us, are never separated — by death or anything else. Most of the guys are going to die violently for me. John’ll take you to Ephesus and he’ll be the only one to die of natural causes. But, whether alive or dead, here or there, we’re together and we’re supporting one another.

Mary: Is that why sometimes when I talk to my parents, it seems like they’re present and listening?

Jesus: Yes. Through me, we are all united in love.

Mary: Can they influence what happens here?

Jesus: No. Only to the degree they work through me. In the future, it’ll get confusing for the church. Future generations will know they can commune with us, even when we’re not present. Some will go to one extreme — praying to you and the saints, and others will assume you and the saints don’t exist at all.

Mary (frowning): Oh, that’s sad. They’ll forget about their spiritual ancestors?

Jesus: More or less. They’ll commune with me, but they’ll miss the blessing of communion with the saints.

Mary (placing her hand on Jesus’ knee): You and me. We’ll never be apart, will we?

Jesus (taking Mary’s hand): You and me. Never. Our family of faith? We’re locked in and never alone. When these guys die, they’ll not die alone. We’ll all be there. And in some cases the curtain will be pulled aside and they’ll see the angels and all of us waiting.

They sit quietly for a minute.

Mary (reflectively): Mom? Dad? Glad you are here. Love you.

Tr8: Commune with the saints. We are not alone and we are part of a much greater kingdom.