Easter Letter 2017

According to John, the last words Jesus spoke from the cross were, “It is finished.” Whether he meant “finished” as brought to an end, in the sense of finality, or “finished” as brought to completion, in the sense of fulfillment, nobody can know for sure. It’s hard not to think he meant both. According to John, there is less mystery involved in understanding the first words of Jesus after his Resurrection from the dead. 
 
On Easter morning Mary Magdalene went to the tomb before dawn to anoint Jesus body. Having found the empty tomb she quickly runs to tell Peter and John that someone has taken Jesus’ body from of the tomb and she doesn’t know where they’ve taken it. Peter and John run to the tomb to see for themselves. They find the tomb empty, but see Jesus’ grave clothes neatly folded, not what you would expect to see if someone had stolen his body. They consider what this means, and they go home. Then John tells us,
“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”  Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
 
From time to time I have run across collections of the famous last words of famous people. Recently, I came across the last words of someone who is not famous, mostly because he was only 4 years old.
 
Nolan Scully was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, in November 2015. He passed away in February this year, aged four.  His mother Ruth will never forget the last night of his young life.
 
At 9pm, after watching a video together, Ruth asked if she could leave Nolan for a shower. I’ll be out in two seconds’. He smiled at me. I shut the bathroom door… They said the moment the bathroom door clicked he shut his eyes and went into a deep sleep, beginning the end of life passing. “When I opened the bathroom door, his Team was surrounding his bed and every head turned and looked at me with tears in their eyes. They said ‘Ruth, he’s in a deep sleep. He can’t feel anything’. His respirations were extremely labored, his right lung had collapsed and his oxygen dropped.
 
Ruth said, “I ran and jumped into bed with him and put my hand on the right side of his face. Then, a miracle that I will never forget happened…. Nolan took a breath, opened his eyes, smiled at me and spoke his last words, ‘I Love You Mommy’, he said, and turned his head towards me. At 11:54pm Nolan Scully passed away as his mother Ruth was singing ‘You are My Sunshine’ in his ear.”
 
“I Love You”… is about as good as any of us can do when it comes to last words, unless we happen to be the Savior of the world.  But when it comes to first words, perhaps Jesus has given us an insight into what awaits us on that day when we meet those we love in the life to come. They will draw near to us once more… And seeing that we, the new arrivals, are overwhelmed with tears of Joy at the meeting, the ones we love and lost a while will simply ask us “Why are you weeping???” And they will speak our name… and there we will be together again in the love and the light of Resurrection Life… forever.
 
Grace and Peace,
 
Pastor Mark Brady

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