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Hope in the Heartland

(Editor’s note: This is the twelfth in a series leading to Easter.)

Pastor of Peabody Bible Church

Early the next morning, the soldier approached the sealed tomb.

Paranoid Jews, he thought.

“Guarding a corpse … should be a quiet duty,” he said to another soldier. “The only enemy we will fight here is boredom.” The other soldiers laughed.

As the Saturday sun crossed the sky, the soldier increasingly resented the futility of guarding a tomb. When it was his turn to rest, however, he found sleep difficult to enjoy; uneasiness nibbled at the edge of his thoughts.

“What can happen at a tomb?” he muttered to himself as he resumed guard duty in the early Sunday morning hours.

Suddenly a bright light filled the garden and the soldier whirled to face the tomb. Cold terror vibrated through his body as the ground shook violently under his feet, knocking him to the ground.

“The stone … it’s moving,” a horrified voice shrieked.

The soldier raised his hands in front of his face and squinted, peering through his quivering fingers. A scream burst from his mouth when he saw a blazing figure in gleaming white clothing seated on top of the stone.

As the bright light assaulted his senses, the soldier’s gaze was drawn to a person standing in the entrance of the tomb. The soldier gasped at the sight of wounded hands and feet.

“It can’t be. I saw you die.”

He felt dizziness swamping his mind and his heart pounded as if it were going to explode out of his chest. He raised his head, his entire body trembling in the dust, and shouted, “Jesus?”

To be continued …

Last modified April 1, 2010

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