Breaking News! Empty tomb.

16/04/2016

Reports are coming in that the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth is empty.  Reporters at the scene say that the heavy stone in front of the tomb has been rolled away to the side.  The strips of linen which were wrapped around the 34kg of spices on Jesus’ body remain, as does the burial cloth which covered his head.  This has actually been folded up and is lying separate to the linen.  The Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb on pain of death are nowhere to be seen.

Mary Magdalene, first to witness the empty tomb with a group of female friends (all of them unreliable witnesses, as their testimony is not allowed in Jewish courts) said, ‘I thought at first that someone had taken the body away, but then I turned around, outside the tomb, and saw Jesus himself standing there.  I didn’t recognise him until he spoke my name.  I had seen him die in three agonising hours on the cross just two days ago.  He told me he was returning to his Father and my Father.  He asked me to go and tell his brothers about this so I ran to the disciples and told them that I had seen the Lord.’

Another witness, Simon Peter, commented, ‘when Mary told me the tomb was empty I assumed the body had been stolen.  But when I ran into the tomb and saw that the burial clothes were still there, I knew that Jesus had fulfilled his promise to overcome death.  There was no way anyone could have got that body out of the burial clothes while they were still wrapped up.  Now I really do believe he is the Messiah.  I was never entirely convinced.’

Thomas, one of the disciples still in a locked room for fear that the Jews would come after Jesus’ followers, said, ‘I don’t believe a word of it.  I don’t know what has happened to my colleague, Simon Peter, who just a few days ago was denying that he knew Jesus at all, but people don’t just rise from the dead.  Particularly not Jesus, whose body was utterly destroyed in that crucifixion.  I would love to believe, honestly I would, but I just can’t.  Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and can put my hand into his side, where they stabbed the spear to check he was dead, I won’t believe’.

An anonymous Roman soldier spoke to us from his hideout to say, ‘There were four of us on watch at a time because Pilate knew that Jesus had said he would rise from the dead after three days.  This seemed unlikely as he was clearly dead, he was wrapped tightly in kilos of spices and linen, and a heavy stone was rolled down a channel in front of the tomb.  But there was a violent earthquake and some angel figure appeared, rolled the stone back up and sat on it.  His appearance was like lighting and his clothes were white as snow.  I was terrified and must have passed out because next thing I knew, the body was gone.  They paid us to say someone had stolen the body but is that likely?  I don’t want to be put to death for letting a prisoner escape.’

We asked Pilate to comment but he simply said, ‘this is clearly fake news’.

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