I once again find myself writing my blog sitting on my couch with my laptop, dog asleep beside me, and CNN on in the background. Speculation about who is going to run for the Republican presidential ticket and the potential presidential candidates, the Donald, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and the upcoming Royal Wedding are getting nearly as much news coverage as the continued nuclear threat in Japan, unrest in the Middle East, and severe weather across the South.
Its ironic that I’m listening to the news and thinking about Holy Week. I wonder what the headlines in the hypothetical first-century Jerusalem Times may have been. Some may not be far-fetched. On tax day, “Render Unto Caesar Your Taxes – Tax deadline midnight tonight”. The article might include details about punishment for failure to pay your taxes and ‘no extensions, no exceptions’. Some might be serious: “Millions Flood Jerusalem for the Passover” or “Governor Grants Celmency to Barabbas”. A few articles might be planted to cover up the rumors spreading about Jesus: “Lazarus Wakes from Coma, Accidentally Buried Alive” or “Adulterer Found Not Guilty”. Or, you could just have some fun making these up: “Pigs Fly into the Lake” or “Big Catch: Profile of a Single Fisherman” or “Doctors and Hospitals Less Busy” or “Disability Claims Down” or “Demons Scared, New Guy in Town”.
What would the front page headline be on Sunday morning? “Police Investigate Empty Tomb” “Body Stolen from Garden Tomb” “Police Search for Grave Robbers” “Dead Man Walking Among Us” “Angels Say He’s Gone, but Where?” “Centurions: He Was the Son of God”.
The Holy Week remembers the greatest political execution in the history of the world; but, it likely would not have made headlines. After the crucifixion and resurrection, the Disciples kept a low profile for awhile. The Gospel of Mark 16: 8 says, “for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” The Disciples wouldn’t have been shouting from the rooftops about Jesus’ resurrection on that Sunday morning unsure yet what had happened.
After receiving the Great Commission and further instruction, they did go out and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. We have a whole book today of the Good News. The Apostles have guarded the true faith in Jesus Christ and passed it on from generation to generation. The Good News of the saving grace of God made manifest in the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been preserved. Hallelujah! Christ is risen!
May the Risen Lord appear to you,