Contrasting the Followers of Jesus and John the Baptist

There is a remarkable parallel and contrast between two groups of disciples at the graves of their respective masters. John the Baptist’s follower charge into the jaws of the lion to rescue the headless corpse of their martyred teacher from a prison grave. They lay it reverently and then they feel all is over. They no longer have a center. They disintegrate. Their shepherd was stuck down and the flock was scattered. As a distinct community they ceased to be.

The other group laid their martyred master in his grave with as tender hands and as little hope as did John’s disciples. Hints are given that the disintegrating process is beginning. The women come to the grave wrapped in grief and leave it with great joy. They go away feeling that they are bound together more closely than ever.

The grave of John was the end of a “school.” The grave of Jesus was the beginning of the Church.

Why?

The only answer that makes sense is that: “The Lord is risen!”

The whole history of the Christian Church and its very existence is unintelligible without the truth of the resurrection.

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