I have often wondered about the week after the resurrection.
I have lots of questions.
I wonder and am curious about the reactions of the disciples and the emotions they carried this week.
The emotions that the disciples and followers of Jesus had during Good Friday and beyond.
They were exhausted and afraid the day of the Crucifixion. They proved they couldn’t stay awake and pray with Jesus in the Garden. Then all but John and the women left Jesus to die on the cross among the jeering crowd and the soldiers rather than with his friends. They couldn’t bare to watch…they were scared they would be next.
Only Nicodemas, and Joesph of Arimathea, the tomb giver, and again some of the women were the only ones to see him buried. The Disciples didn’t leave the room. After all it was the sabbath day and it was really against the law to travel. They stayed put…except for Thomas.
One of my questions is about the Pharisees. Why did the pharisees and the chief priests believe that Jesus would be raised while his disciples didn’t? They asked Herod for a guard on the tomb. They asked Herod because they wanted to be extra careful. They actually remembered what Jesus said about rising from the dead on the third day. Hum …I never thought of that til this year. Had the Disciples forgotten? Was their disbelief that Jesus was killed too great and it stopped them remembering? Was it their deep grief? Or was it exhaustion that blinded them and made them forget or at least misunderstand? More likely it was deep fear that they would be next and they just couldn’t deal with that.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise again.” 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.’
65 ‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. Matthew 27:62-66
I wonder what my exhaustion keeps me from seeing and from remembering? What does my fear blind me to or keep me from remembering?
How often do I forget what Jesus has said and what he has done for me in my life?
What are you feeling this week after Easter?
Are you still in the land of Good Friday and the room of extended grief? There is a lot in our world that is frustrating and painful.
This week after Easter saw another mass shooting. Another group of co-workers shot down and killed by a person, a young person, with an automatic rifle. This was in Louisville, KY, just up the road a few hours from Nashville. Kentucky is Tennessee’s northern neighbor, so close to home again. This sickens me and makes me want to escape and hide, just like the disciples..escape the conflict on gun control and the lack of will to change in our political system to stop all of this!
But then there is Jesus….resurrected Jesus. Jesus bearing the scars of his agony. Defeating death by sharing in it! And sharing in all our sufferings.
Jesus comes into that stuckness
Into that fear
Into that exhaustion
Into that grief
Jesus walks through the walls they have built and the doors that are shut and says
PEACE BE WITH YOU!
DON’T BE AFRAID!
Mary was not afraid to go to the tomb, but she was shattered once she arrived. Mary came to anoint the body and add more spices. Thinking her friend, her teacher, her Lord has been removed by the enemies, the body lost somewhere, she weeps.
Blinded by grief. She thinks the gardener might know where they’ve taken Jesus.
But then there is JESUS and Jesus calls her name.
She is Seen
She is Known
She is greatly loved.
As Mary runs from the tomb…
“I HAVE SEEN HIM”
I need to remember that Jesus knows my name too. I need to remember that Jesus can see me in my tears, in my grief, in my stuckness and blindness.
Jesus sees me in the rooms I’ve locked away.
and JESUS LOVES ME right where I am!
JESUS LOVES ME ANYWAY!
And Jesus calls me by name!
Maybe like me, you need Jesus to call your name today.
Maybe you too need to remember that He loves you so much!
What things are you fearful about today? Give them to Jesus to hold for you.
What things are making you anxious or frustrated? Allow Jesus to have these things.
Imagine Jesus coming into your house to be with you right where you are…
He says to you “PEACE BE WITH YOU”
He shows you his hands and his side.
He isn’t afraid of your doubts.
He sits and eats with you and reminds you of his love for you and your calling.
Picture the scene. Allow the love of Jesus to surround you!
To help you remember, Make a list of how you’ve seen Jesus work in your life in the past.
Consider the people and the places and experiences you’ve had that you know were God inspired.
Keep adding to your list in the days and weeks ahead.
Lord Jesus help us see and remember all the wonderful things you’ve done in our lives.
Help us to know you are with us! In our grief, our pain, in our frustrations and discouragement.
Help us to know you love us right now just as we are
Help us to hear your voice and receive your peace again.
We need your peace and your love now more than ever.
Fill us again with your Holy Spirit. We love you ! AMEN
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 3 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, ‘This is what is written: the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ LUKE 24:36-49