THE MOST MAGNIFICENT RACE
The houses along the dusty streets of Old Jerusalem in the early morning light cast long shadows upon the awakening day. Peter urged John up out of bed and into the street. Now remember the course we have set!
Ready—set—go—Peter shouted as the boys10 and 8 took off with a great surge of energy running side by side up the street their leather sandals stirring up a mini dust storm around their eager feet. Chickens clucked in surprise as they passed and a donkey brayed. A dog ran out barking at their heels for a short distant and a cat hissed from a nearby cart laden with hay. Rounding a corner a woman came into view her arms filled with goods for market. Look out!! Peter cried as they barely missed her swerving to each side. Peter quickly gained the lead as a rooster strutted out into John’s way tripping him right into a basket full of juicy, tempting apples. Hens in a crate nearby began to squawk and the merchant began shaking his fist and shouting.
John dashed away and raced up the street once more as he saw Peter disappear behind a corner. With all the energy an 8 year old can summon he put on some speed and sped around the corner only to slip and slide in some donkey leavings. Yuk! He exclaimed(in Hebrew of course) and he stopped to wipe his sandals off in a bunch of grass growing by a doorway.
He began to sprint again only to almost tumble over Peter who was tangled up in a fisherman’s net.
“Help!” gasped Peter.
John saw an opportunity to finally win a race. He always lost because he was so much younger than Peter. Now was his chance to gain the lead! He began to pass Peter but Peter’s plaintive cries would not go unheard.
“Okay! Okay!” John said freeing him.
They began again to race up the street only to collide with a blind man. They all collapsed in a squirming pile as the blind man cried out –“You fools! You fools!” Breathlessly they helped the poor man to his feet and quickly dashed on.
As they sped on John called to Peter, “Don’t you think there are just too many obstacles?”
“ Yes,” replied Peter, “that is the challenge that makes the race worthwhile! You have to learn to overcome the obstacles John and you can win the race!” as he began to pull ahead to another win.
“Easy for you to say.” Peter grumbled as he tried to pick up the pace.
30 years later John and Peter sat around the table with the other disciples. Each was lost in his own grief and sorrow at the loss of their Master. What did it all mean? They had thought Yesua Messiah had come to set up His kingdom on earth but now He was dead. What would become of them? John thought of the races with Peter and the obstacles they always encountered and yet they had continued to race. But this obstacle was huge. Could they continue the race of life without His strong presence in their life.
Mary Magdelene ran into the room suddenly interrupting their thoughts with her breathless words “He is not in the tomb!! Someone has stolen the body!!”
Peter looked at John and motioned for the door and then turned a smile upon his face.
John knew what that meant even though it had been many years since they had raced through the streets of Jerusalem.
They raced now stretching their legs and arms forward; pulling themselves along with great gasps of air side by side, friend to friend. As the grave came in view; the younger John overtook Peter at last!
He stopped short at the tomb as he peered in to see only grave cloths. Peter arrived and stooping down stepped within. He saw the grave clothes neatly folded and placed upon the shelf.
Peter couldn’t comprehend it, “why would someone remove the body from the grave clothes and leave them behind???”
But John stepping in knew in an instant—“Don’t you see?? He lives!! He has overcome all obstacles for us! We are victorious in this race!!
Together they raced back to house to let the others know. This time it was a tie as they both hit the doorway together and pushed and squeezed through laughing with joy.
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