A little silver-haired lady calls her neighbour and says: “Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can’t figure out how to get started.” Her neighbour asks: “What is it supposed to be when it’s finished?” The little silver-haired lady says: “According to the picture on the box, it’s a cockerel”
Her neighbour decides to go over and help with the puzzle.
She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says:
“First of all, no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a cockerel.”
He then takes her hand and says: “Secondly, I want you to relax. Let’s have a nice cup of tea, and then,” he said with a deep sigh ………… “Let’s put all the Corn Flakes back in the box.”
Sometimes we can have all the information but miss the mark completely: the little old lady had all the information to tell her that it was a breakfast cereal, BUT she still thought it was something else !!
Here we are on the edge of Easter and my mind is reflecting on that first Easter and in particular the Johannine account. John 20:1-10 tell us that even though the disciples had travelled with Jesus for three years, heard his teachings, received his parables and experienced his miracles they still believed that he was dead after Good Friday; so Mary goes to the tomb to mourn. Upon seeing the stone removed she goes for Simon Peter and `the other disciple` (probably John himself) and declares the body has been stolen.
What I find remarkable is their lack of comprehension (although I would probably have been the same). John tells us that they arrived at the tomb and saw the information/evidence. Firstly, the stone had been removed: big, heavy stone which surely couldn`t have been removed by a dead man……….its natural they would think first of all of theft.
Secondly, the linen cloths lying there: if they were stealing a body surely no one would have unwrapped it first ?
Thirdly, why should the head linen be lying separate from everything else ? These must have been extremely tidy thieves !!!!!!
Fourthly, much of the Old Testament prophesies that the Messiah would die and rise from the dead, and Jesus even on the night before his death explained it in detail to his followers.
The evidence points to some sort of supernatural event and yet in verse 9 John records “they still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death”.
I find that people can be like that at Easter. The evidence is there but people don`t bother examining it; they simply dismiss it all as bunkum, without even fully knowing the story. They hear the evidence and decide that as it’s not scientific they won`t evaluate it. They receive the information but it isn`t `exciting` enough for them in our hi-powered, technological, thrills-are-all-important culture so its cast to one side as `boring`. They see the evidence and decide that it can be true for some people, as if truth is a changeable thing.
Well, for me I`ve recieved the information, I`ve studied it but most important of all I`ve experienced it. You see, in the next part of that same chapter 20, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and in verse 16 she fully grasps who he is. You see experience is as important as information.
Returning to the joke the woman had the information which she hadn`t fully or properly understood, but had she tasted the cereal with some milk and sugar she would have appreciated it for what it truly was. It’s the same with us——we need to open our hearts and experience the risen Christ. Nicky Gumbel of Holy Trinity Church, Brompton always says that it’s when knowledge drops 18 inches from head to heart that Christianity makes sense. I urge us all to stop trying to analyse the evidence but to pray in our hearts for an experience of Jesus Christ. Pray that he might touch us all this Easter time.
May the blessings of Easter be yours and may the presence of the Risen Christ be with you.