The Sunday after

In Jerusalem a new day had dawned bright and fair. It was Sunday, three days after Jesus Christ's crucifixion. In the Roman barracks some off-duty soldiers were playing a game of chance and discussing the latest sensational news: the disappearance of Jesus' body from the tomb.

"I wonder where those followers of Jesus have hidden the body. Marcus and Aurelius were really stupid to have let them break into the tomb."

"Knowing those two, they were probably asleep. It wouldn't be the first time."

"Well, they're paying for it now: a month's wages lost, and fatigues. I'm glad I wasn't on duty!"

"Shame, though, about Jesus. Hard on those who believed in him, they must be feeling gutted now."

"Don't talk such rubbish. I for one am glad that all the trouble is over and we can get back to normal duties. This past week has been a shambles. Your throw, Anthony."

Suddenly, the door is flung open and two soldiers enter.

"The captain has issued a red alert; there's trouble again. Come on, outside with you! We could be in for another day's rioting!"

"What on earth…?"

"It's all over Jerusalem! This Jesus has been seen alive and his followers are spreading the news around. We're to get out into the city to squash these rumours and quieten the people down. We don't want any more riots, the last one was bad enough."

"Jesus, alive? He can't be alive, we took him down dead from the cross!"

"Of course he's not alive, you idiot, but there's been enough trouble here recently, and the captain wants us to give a show of strength. He's still furious about how it all got out of hand before. Another mess-up like that and he's on his way back to Rome — and we all know what that means."

"You know, I had a funny feeling about that Jesus all along. I didn't see him as a one-time wonder. There was something about him that really impressed me. He was… I don't know, he was…"

"Come on, you fool! Stop talking nonsense! You'll be going back to Rome if the captain hears your views. Let's get on with what we're paid for!"

"Yeah, Iím coming. But we havenít heard the last of this Jesus Christ."

The rest, they say, is not actually history, but the witness and service of Christians daily living out their faith and beliefs since that very first Easter Sunday. May each one of us be blessed with peace and joy as we celebrate Easter 2003.

By: Susan Bollongino
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April 2003: Contents | He is not here | Morning | Sunday after | Truth or not truth
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