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Put It All Together Again

John 20:1-18

The Rev. Jon Roberts

21 April


Calvary Episcopal Church

Indian Rocks Beach, FL

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag′dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; 5 and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, 7 and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 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.” 14 Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 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.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo′ni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” 18 Mary Mag′dalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.


Humpty Dumpty

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men;
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”[1]

Humpty Dumpty was a bad egg. From stories like this, we can all agree, the shell is a fragile thing. No wonder they couldn’t put Humpty tougher again. Anyone who has ever cracked an egg knows it is nearly impossible to put it back together. Relating to our own fragile lives we can also agree that there is something that keeps us together. It is something that speaks clearly in Easter. It is about the love of Christ. It is about the light of the world, that seems to give us the answer on how we keep it all together. Life is hard and we have spoken on many occasions, throughout Lent on how hard it is to keep it intact.

It was hard for those disciples who followed Jesus; who thought that he was the one to finally put this broken world back together. Every generation who followed the first Easter resurrection has probably thought the same thing. God will come down and He will surely put it back together again; but for some reason all of our horses and all of our men (and women) have not been able to completely put it back together again.

You have heard the expression, “If you are going to make an omelet, you are going to have to break a couple of eggs.” We have done a lot of breaking and that’s why we rejoice with the message in Easter. Easter is about resurrection, healing and new life. It’s about putting things back together again. Here is an image that may help you further. When you look at the fragile existence of your own egg and shell, there is something of great wonder, charm, purpose and hope about what is inside. What is inside of us is a beautiful soul, one created before we entered time. Through God, when He spoke, He already envisioned all of us and what we could become. All who have now come hundreds and thousands of years later were held by God. He most likely saw the landscape of what was to come. The winding roads, the steep hills and walls to which we look down from. God knew it was going to be messy and God knew things were going to break apart. That is why He sent Jesus. Jesus came into this “recipe”, this wonderful entrée, at the precise moment when He was needed most. God the Father, knew best, when to send God the Son into the created world in order that things would be put together again.

What was the reason Humpty couldn’t be put together again? Well, as stated earlier, “He was a bad egg.” Could someone put a finger on it? Could they put the broken fragment back in place that he could be whole again? Was it his pride? Was it his envy? Was it his need to control; to be the best; the first; the one to be raised up? The answer is yes, to all the above that sits on the wall. Similar to his story, we realize why we ourselves become broken. God came into the world to save sinners and Easter is the message of our salvation from it. It is precisely at this moment, after those three days when Christ is risen again, to where we see how marvelously he was able to restore and make new. The wonderful thing is that it wasn’t just a historical time point that occurred two thousand years ago. It is continuing on today, lived out in each one of us. We are in some sense, expected to fall apart. That’s OK. We are created in such a way that we call out to one another for help as well, to be put back together again. It’s part of the plan. Ultimately, it requires a bit more than spit, grit and duct tape. It has to be more than glue, more than fine-tuned engineering to really help keep us together. This is what the Easter resurrection is about.

​When you look at that tomb, the one emptied, imagine a crack was made so that we could see eternity. Something has opened up and we can see inside. The revelation that Christ has given that death does not prohibit us and that we can pass through. That is so much more meaningful than anything else. It is in the knowledge that Jesus went down, into death for us, into the gates of hell so that he could bestow life to those in the tombs. That which is evil and sinister in the world has been trying for generations to break the message of Jesus Christ. Yet, with the simple moving of a rock, allowing this light to come out we see how the world is restored. To those who have experienced what Humpty went through, what the disciples went through, what Mary at the empty tomb went through, do not weep but be of good cheer.[2]

That is the beauty, that is the victory in Christ Jesus on Easter. Through all of your moments, when you feel a little buried, a little dark and hidden, continue to pray and to allow for that little piece, that fracture be part of the whole. Easter is full of joy and on this occasion we can say Jesus Christ is risen today.

If we come to this empty tomb and see it for what it is, a crack opened for what in store for us, then all of the King’s horses and all the King’s men will put us back together again.

[1] James William Elliott, Humpty Dumpty; National Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Songs, 1870.
[2] John 20:1-18

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