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A Palm Sunday Story

The Easter story and the Easter news, if you remember, begin very early one morning when a messenger tells the women by the empty tomb not to cry because Jesus isn’t there — he is already on his way to Galilee.

“Ladies, Jesus is not among the dead, neither he belongs to the past! He is alive, and well, and if you want to reconnect with him once again, well, in that case you will have to follow him all the way into the world, into your neighborhoods, into your families, even into your churches.”

In his play The Trial of Jesus, the British writer John Masefield recreates that revealing encounter, but not by the empty tomb, rather in Pilate’s palace. Centurion Longinus, in charge of Jesus’s execution, reports to Pilate after the crucifixion is done.

Somehow Pilate’s wife, who had anxiously followed all that has happened, overheard the news. Visibly shaken, she asks the centurion, “Do you think he is dead?”

“No, lady, I don’t,” Longinus responds.

“Then where is he?” asks Pilate’s wife.

Longinus replies, “Let loose in the world, lady, where neither Roman nor Jew can stop his truth. Nobody can. Take my word.”


Two thousand years later, here we are, my friends, ready to enjoy that extraordinary story and that extraordinary news yet once again – this time in the form of an Easter Cantata with lovely songs about the events of Holy Week.

As you will hear in a few more minutes, a story as new, as refreshing, and as inspiring as the message the women by the empty tomb once heard from the heavenly messenger.

Why so inspiring, we may ask again? Because it is a story of “hopes fulfilled,” as the Proverbs song tells us, and hope fulfilled is like “a tree of life.”

It is as inspiring as never before for deep in our hearts we know that the moment we welcome the Risen Christ we can begin to see people and things from a different perspective.

We can begin to see ourselves from a different perspective. As children of God, as risen people ourselves.

Even our suffering and our dying –we can see everything from a different perspective, for now we know that nothing, anywhere, never can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.