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My response was to be this sermon - and I am afraid though I started out to answer his question or at least explore it from a Christian perspective, I was, as I said, hijacked.

Hijacked by a painting.

“What really happened?” I do intend to look at, but it will be more in the context of “Why did what happened happen?”, “What was God on about?” now.

Allow me to start attempting to answer the question and then allow the discussion to be hijacked as I was.

Buzz asks “When all the reports in your Gospels differ how can we know what is true? What evidence do you have?”

So let’s return to that first Easter morning. You heard Luke relate in the reading how the women “at early dawn, came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.”

Luke goes on to tell us “9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”
And we heard from John that Mary Magdalene came running and said to Peter and himself "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,”

Matthew writes “5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

And the Gospel of Mark repeats this after showing the women worried that the stone would not be able to be rolled away “6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”

In every report of that morning there is one common factor - THE TOMB WAS EMPTY.

The consistent evidence in every account from the people who were there says “The tomb was empty” The fact is; that not one of those people were expecting it. Every person involved thought that Jesus body would still be there and they were surprised that it was not.

Even when told he had risen they remained perplexed and disbelieving.

It’s ironic that the only people worried that the tomb might be empty were the chief priests and the Pharisees.

We read in Matthew “62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."
65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”
They were really worried when “some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.”

Then we read “12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.”

The hostile witnesses remembered Jesus’ words but it took a long time for his followers to have that same message sink in.

The boys went back to their fishing disappointed and disillusioned and it wasn’t until the day of Pentecost that Peter spoke boldly to the crowd “22"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 2 3This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

And again in Acts chapter 4 we hear Peter addressing the Sanhedrin: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 1 0then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”

Thomas G. Long in his article "Empty Tomb, Empty Talk," The Christian Century, 2001. Religion Online. states: "It is somewhat reassuring to realize that the first Christian sermon ever preached did not register high on the Richter scale. When the women came back from the cemetery on Easter morning, they brought with them word of an empty tomb and astonishing news: "He is not here but has risen!" All Christian preaching begins here."

So there was the basic core of my sermon - “The tomb was empty - he is not here He has risen” Surely this is a happy morning.

But the Wednesday before I was to preach this to Westmead Uniting …

The everything board / Easter Sunday morning Molong NSW - a sermon
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:46:14 PM »
Easter Sunday morning Molong NSW - a sermon

I’d like, this celebratory morning, to tell you of a sermon hijacked by a painting - Allow me to set the scene.

I have a number of long time Internet friends whom I have never met (and for those who turn off when I mention 'Internet' please do not panic. One of these friends, we’ll call him Buzz, for that is the nickname he uses and I do not know his real name. Well Buzz and I have carried on discussion for quite some years for he, an avowed Atheist and I, an active Christian, both contribute pretty much daily to a news discussion group. A while back Buzz asked the question ‘What really happened that first Easter day.’

What really happened that first Easter day?

The everything board / Re: Supression
« on: March 31, 2013, 06:12:38 AM »
Knocking on the door LOL :)

The everything board / Re: Suppression 3
« on: March 30, 2013, 08:29:03 PM »
Leyland Morris - what a great name.

A bit like Ford Prefect of the restaurant at the end of the universe fame.

1960s - SSS Are you thinking of the Bluebird?

My SIL is staying here at present and I remember the 180B SSS she had. For it's time it was quite nice to drive even when quite worn. It went OK and stopped well - cornered better than a falcon or holden but the gearbox on hers was like stirring porridge.

The everything board / Re: Supression
« on: March 30, 2013, 06:26:33 PM »
No shooting down here Ian.  :)
Look - smiley's are back;  ;D

The everything board / Re: Why hasn't it happened before?
« on: March 28, 2013, 03:14:58 PM »
I am wondering if 50 years ago it would not have been safe to tread the path of such an infiltration.

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