At last, it was all over. After much pleading, his mother and some friends managed to prevent the soldiers from allowing his broken body to be left on the ground to become food for the wild dogs.
With pain-filled faces they took him down from the cross. They had gently washed him, wrapped him in a shroud, and laid him in a borrowed tomb.
It was a better fate, they thought, as they rolled the stone in front of the tomb, than being fed to the dogs. But not by much.
The One who’d told them he had no place to lay his head, was still far away from home.
When his flesh decayed, his bones would not be gathered to those of his ancestors. Now, throughout eternity, no one would even remember him.
Everything that day and the next was still. That is, all was still except the sobbing of his disciples, and the sneering of those who had sought his life.
Then, suddenly, in the last moments before the sun rose on the third day, there came a noise. At first, the soldiers who were guarding the tomb listened to the noise in amazement.
Then they covered their ears, and fell to the ground in terror.
For angel voices, the ones who had sang a wondrous pianissimo of beauty over the stable of Bethlehem, were singing again. This time bursting into a fortissimo of sheer, raw, unadulterated power.
No one realised it, but this day would go down in history. People yet unborn would sing with joy about what was now happening.
Blinding light was springing forth. Not from the sun, but from the rocks themselves as the very stones rose up and pushed the stone away.
And in a roar never before heard on earth, the chill bonds of death became shattered for ever.
Death became a joke in that moment. It could no longer win. Evil could no longer win. Darkness could no longer defeat light.
And for all eternity the angel’s song would ring through the heavens and in the hearts of those who open them to hear:
Christ is risen! Christ is risen! Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!”