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Pastor Mensah’s      
View from the Pulpit

RESPONSES AND REACTIONS TO THE RESURRECTION EXPERIENCE!

Matthew reports an encounter between an angel of the Lord and two women (Mary and the other Mary) at the tomb which had held the body of Jesus since his death on Friday. He also reports of the presence of soldiers who were detailed to guard the tomb, and were the actual witnesses to the activities associated with the resurrection. The women, acting on the instruction of the angel, “…. left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples.” (Matthew 28:8 – NRSV) Matthew continues with what took place on the sideline as the women went their way, saying, “… some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened.” (Matthew 28:11 – NRSV)
According to Matthew, the chief priests, who most probably could have been the first to hear the resurrection story, responded by assembling the elders with whom they devised a plan to silence the soldiers by giving them money and telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep. …..” (Matthew 28:11-15 NRSV)
Mark at a point reports that Jesus “appeared first to Mary Magdalene, … She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe her.” (Mark 16: 9 -11 NRSV) Mary had done her duty but the hearers were rather indignant about her report. 
Luke and John write about Peter and the other disciple who responded to the women’s report by running to the tomb to see things for themselves and returned home (amazed at what had happened). (Luke 24:12; John 20:10)
Christ is risen! Yes, He is risen indeed! By God’s grace we have made it through the period of lent, waved branches to usher Jesus into Jerusalem, made it through the holy week with him, traveled the tortuous road from his trial to Calvary, watching from our vantage points, as he bled and died on the cross. However, the grave could not hold Jesus’ body for good. Up from the grave he arose, and we were privileged to experience with the women once again this wonderful act of God. Jesus welcomed us to the Easter breakfast, and fed us with the communion which will forever help us remember Christ’s offer of himself for us. What is our response and reaction to this particular Easter experience? Will you be one of the soldiers who will go to report what you have experienced, but will allow yourself to be silenced thereafter?


Will you be one of the chief priests or one of the elders assembled by the chief priests, who wanted to shelve the truth?
Will you run with Peter and the other disciple to the tomb, only to return home (until when)? Or will you be indignant like one of the others? 
Will you join the women to make all efforts to report to whoever will need to hear about this wonderful experience? 


Whatever the response may be, you and I can never be the same after this experience. How we respond and react however, depends on us. What are you doing? What can we do together? SURELY, CHRIST IS RISEN. BLESSINGS TO YOU
   REV. LISTOWEL AYENSU-MENSAH 




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