REV Alison Richardson led the Easter Day service on March 31 – Christ is Risen Alleluia!

Alison recounted an imaginary conversation of someone who had spoken to the gardener on the first Easter Sunday.

“The empty tomb. Do you know what everyone is talking about? The gardener told me first-hand – the tomb that they put that rebel Jesus in has been found empty. What a shock! Apparently, they put His body in there on Friday afternoon just as the gardener was packing up to go home – he saw them do it. He was surprised too that He was buried – most of that sort, you know, criminals who had been crucified, their bodies were left for the wild animals and birds.

“It's a first-class tomb and belongs to some rich chap – no-one ordinary could afford a tomb like this, so the dead bloke Jesus must have been special, a prophet I heard, so why did they crucify Him?

“Now it is Sunday and the tomb is empty which is stupid because they put guards on the entrance and everything. You’ll laugh at this, but the gardener told me that an angel came and rolled the stone away! But maybe he is exaggerating.  Mind you, there was a woman who said that there were two angels in the tomb sitting where the body had laid, what a carry on. You just don’t know what to believe.

“The guards looked like right idiots this morning when the body was gone. They are in trouble all right!

“The gardener told me that the priests at the Temple are putting it around that His mates came and took his body away.

“The Romans say that He wasn’t really dead, so got up and walked right out. I’ve never heard of Romans messing up a crucifixion or anything come to that.

“Now the locals are all being asked if anyone has seen anything suspicious. All we know is the tomb is empty.”

So, there was bewilderment, shock, confusion in Jerusalem. But not in the Kingdom of God. Glory was being given to God the Father, the creator of Heaven and Earth.

The “new” thing which Isaiah had written about so many years before was happening. The new thing being a divine once and for all happening – “the former things have taken place and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

The depth of God’s love for us had been seen on the cross. For the first time death had no sting, death had been defeated. Jesus Christ, Son of God, endured the suffering of the murderous cross and died, all by the power of the Spirit.

Now by the same power of the Spirit He was Risen. Bewilderment on earth – glory in Heaven.

From bewilderment has emerged a worldwide belief – 2.38 billion people all over the world  - Alleluia, What a Saviour!

The congregation was asked to bring a flower and dress the bare cross.

Bronwyn Nott