The Race to the Tomb by Bob Commin

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The Race to the Tomb

Mary Magdalene came running
She came crying and running
She cried: ‘Peter! John!
They have taken the body.
The stone is rolled away.

The huge stone, taller than a man
Wider than a team of oxen,
Rolled away. The tomb empty,
the body of Jesus gone.

Peter looked up,
saw the stress and tears in Mary’s face,
and began to run to the tomb.
Peter was running swift as a deer
His cloak a sail in the wind.

John was behind the house,
heard Mary’s piercing cry
and came running too,
like an athlete, strong and swift

Peter heard his footsteps,
then the wind of his presence
as he passed him on the road.

What did Peter see and hear
on this crisp dewy morning
as he rushed to the tomb?

He saw donkeys scatter from his path
And he remembered…(What did he remember?)
Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey
‘Hosanna, Hosanna
Save us! Save us!’ the people sang.

Hens and chicks scurried from his steps
cheep cheep, cheep, cheep.
A cock crowed from a rooftop
Cockildoodil doo
And he remembered…(What did he remember?)
denying he knew Jesus, three times,
‘I do not know the man’

Doves fluttered into the air
Coo cooooo coo, coo cooooo coo
he saw a fledgling with a fresh twig in its mouth
And he remembered…(What did he remember?)
Noah’s dove and the rainbow of a new world.

He ran past a twisted sycamore tree
twisted into the shape of a cross
And he remembered …(What did he remember?)
Three crosses on the Friday sky
And tears filled his eyes.

He turned as he reached the Rams Horn Inn
And heard drunken laughter.
He saw men throwing their dice
three sixes and a four
two sixes and a two
And he remembered …(What did he remember?),
Soldiers dicing for the clothes of Jesus
beneath the cross.

He crossed the field of bleating lambs
baa, baa, baa, baa, baa.
And remembered …(What did he remember?)
the sad Passover meal,
the bread and the wine of the kingdom.

He reached the garden,
saw the tomb with the stone rolled away
saw John standing outside,
just looking in,
panting and staring.

He rushed past John,
into the darkened tomb,
He saw the grave clothes lying on a stone
the body was gone.
He remembered the words of Jesus:
‘On the third day he will rise again.’
In that moment he realized,
Jesus is risen.
He took a deep breath
a long calm breath.
Then he turned around
and walked away from the tomb.
He saw an eagle with outstretched wings
Rise up into the morning sky.

Bob Commin

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