Peter’s Story: He is Risen!

On Friday night we left the tomb in silence,

our feet heavy on that grave road,

clinging to each other for support

every face wet with tears.

Our steps beating out the refrain of our hearts,

“He’s dead, he’s dead.”


No sleep for me all that long night.

Each time I closed my eyes

I was again on that road to Jerusalem

palm branches waving,

again at a table with Jesus

again in a garden,

again in a courtyard.

Again hearing the news that indeed

our Saviour Christ the Lord

had been murdered,

crucified like a criminal.

We met the women at the tomb

and saw his broken body.

As night fell

we put our shoulders to that heavy stone.

We left him there in that cold cave.


There were few words that next day,

we each sought our own company.

John went to the temple.

James went wandering on the hills.

I found myself again in the garden,

the place where I could not stay awake to pray.

Sleep now was far from me,

but prayers still escaped me.

I came back to my bed in the darkness.


I must have slept,

for I thought I was dreaming

the knocking and the women’s excited voices

the light of the rising sun

just touching my pillow.

John’s words “He is risen?”

propelled me from my bed

and I was there

holding Mary’s arms,

shaking her, she half laughing, half crying,

making no sense,

talking of stones rolled away and

gardeners, and angels, and the tomb empty.

I looked at John, and with the same thought

we grabbed our cloaks and ran,

our feet beating the distance of that road

our breath ragged. 

I could see it, the tomb,

the stone rolled away.

And then I was there, in the doorway,

the spot where we had left Jesus– empty.

The cloths that had wrapped his cold body

neatly folded in a pile.

I came to the door of the tomb

the linen cloths hanging from my hands,

and paused there, like Lazarus

blinking with incomprehension at this new life.


Who rolled this stone away?

What force conquered death?

When will I see my Saviour again?

Where will he meet me?

How can this be?


On Sunday morning we left the tomb in silence,

our feet hurrying on that grave road,

clinging to each other for support,

every face wet with tears.

Our steps beating out the refrain of our hearts,

“He’s risen, he’s risen!”

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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