Hi there! My name is Pete. I also go by my original name of Simon, but since Jesus changed it everyone has been calling me Pete. Let me tell you about my day.
It was really, really early in the morning and someone goes banging on my door. I try to ignore the noise, but it doesn’t stop. Then a lady’s voice calls, “Simon!” (I should point out here that our chick friends don’t call me Pete yet because they think Simon sounds more macho). Anyway, I finally get up and go to the door; it’s Mary Magdalene.
“Mags! Do you know what time it is?” Actually, I didn’t know exactly what time it was because overnight somebody had reset my sundial forward one hour. “This had better be important!”
“Dude, you gotta come with me! Something has happened!”
“Mary, come on! I’ve had a bad weekend same as you. I was up late last night, and when I finally decided to try and get some sleep, I discovered someone had short-sheeted my bed. This is Iscariot’s sort of stupid prank, but no one has seen him since late Thursday night.”
“Simon, listen. Me and some of the other girls went to Jesus’ tomb to complete the burial ritual. When we got there, the massive boulder the Romans blocked the tomb with had been moved aside. We weren’t sure how; perhaps it was that massive earthquake a couple hours ago. Didn’t you feel that? Anyway, there was this dude sitting on top of the rock, strumming a lute and singing. I couldn’t catch all of the words besides ‘hear the bells ringing, they’re singing’ or some such nonsense. He looked really weird, being dressed all in white and with that shiny face. We tried to ask him if the grave had been robbed and all he said was ‘Jesus isn’t here.’ I said I’d come talk to you and left some of the other women behind. Now you gotta come with me. Bring Johnny if it makes you feel better.”
That was a pretty good idea; after all, why should I be the only one suffering at this hour? So I go and shake John. “Rock, dude (that was another nickname folks were using for some reason),” he says, “quit it. I’m beat. When we got back home, I opened the door to my room and this entire bucket of water falls on my head. I think Nathaniel has been spending too much time with Iscariot.”
“I know, man, I know, but Mary is out there…”
“Which Mary, dude? We know like at least four people with that name”
“Mags, okay? Anyway, we gotta go to where Jesus was buried; something is wrong – maybe some smart-aleck is pranking us by putting graffiti on the body or something.”
So we both go back to the cemetery. The other ladies are waiting for us. “Simon! John! There are two more people dressed all in white inside. Jesus’ body isn’t there; his clothes are all folded up. These men in white keep saying He is risen over and over. Then we were standing outside crying when this other dude comes up and says “Don’t you recognize me?” We think someone stole his body. It might be April Fools Day, but this isn’t funny!”
Johnny and I both turn and sprint for the tomb; he of course gets there before me because he’s this young buck and I’m starting to feel achy after all these years of hauling fish nets. Once inside, we had a good look around, and although there were no longer any men inside, the scene was just as the women described. Could it be true? Jesus had promised that he would rise from the dead, but to be honest I really didn’t quite comprehend the possibility.
I went home and spent the rest of the day hanging with the remaining disciples. It still seemed the most probable to us that someone or several someones had stolen his body as the ultimate April Fools prank. It wouldn’t be the Romans: they put the boulder over the grave entrance to prevent that very thing. No, it was probably Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin trying to thumb their noses at us. Maybe Iscariot was a part of this, but we had heard rumors that he had committed suicide.
Later that afternoon, Mags came back by and told an amazing story: While hanging around the garden and crying, a man came up to her and when he talked to her, she realized it was indeed Jesus! She believed he was truly arisen!
Suddenly he appeared in the house with us. Literally, like ‘poof!’ “Peace be with you.” It sounded like Jesus; he was always using phrases like that. It looked like Jesus; he even had the scars from his crucifixion ordeal. But we thought it was a ghost, so he asked for some food. Actually, Andrew wanted to give him wine to drink, but we nixed that; if it was a ghost, wine would leave a stain on the new carpet. We always had some fish in the house so we gave him that. At that point, our eyes were opened and we understood everything. It was appropriate that it was April Fool’s Day because we certainly felt quite foolish. But the more Jesus talked to us, the better we felt. Later that night Cleophas and his buddy stopped by and told their story about how Jesus had appeared to them. He really had been resurrected!
Over the years, we began travelling to other places to proclaim all we had seen. Many didn’t believe us, choosing instead to believe in the April Fool’s prank. We died for our beliefs, many of us quite cruelly. I myself would wind up crucified upside-down for proclaiming the good news of the Gospel.
I boldly state to all you who read that Jesus indeed is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who was sent to be born and live among us, who died on a cross, and who God the Father raised from the dead. I, a most humble fisherman, saw him in person, before and after his resurrection and I trust you will have the faith to believe what I tell you because it is not a joke – He is risen! He is risen indeed!