Can you imagine what Sunday morning must have been like for the disciples?
Gone are the crowds that shouted “Hosanna” just one week ago as they entered Jerusalem, gone are the hopes they had carried with them, gone are the people who shouted “crucify him” and long gone are all the people who used to follow around the One named Jesus.
As the sun rose on Sunday morning I can imagine the stillness and calm of the early morning hours, I can imagine the birds singing, not knowing what had transpired or was about to, I can imagine people waking up to go about their daily business with not even a trace of a clue as to what they had done. I can imagine the disciples holed up somewhere wondering and depressed.
They had given up everything to follow Jesus, what on earth were they going to do now? Jesus is gone, killed by the Roman authorities at the behest of the Jewish people. The followers of Jesus had no friends left, nobody to turn to for help.
They would need to find work now, Jesus died on Friday, they had the Sabbath day for rest and now it would be time to go on. They very well couldn’t continue Jesus’ ministry or they could find themselves hanging on that very same cross and besides what was the point now? He’s dead, they thought that He was supposed to be the King, the Messiah come to rescue all of the downtrodden from the evil Roman Empire.
So when Mary came bursting through the front door of the house with news that Jesus was not in the tomb, one can only wonder what thoughts ran through their heads. What is she talking about? Has she gone mad? Did she even go to the right tomb? If it’s true then where is He? Surely the Romans took His body, but why? Maybe the Jewish authorities took His body, but again, why?
People don’t just come back from the dead, but wait. Didn’t He bring back that guy who had been dead for four days already? Yes! Yes He did. He also raised that girl who had just died, but who brought Jesus back? He couldn’t have done it Himself, could He?
If He did then, does that mean He really is the Son of God?
As Peter and John arrived at the tomb only to find that it was in fact empty, every scenario other than Jesus actually being alive would have been going through their minds. Who did this? Why? And how? What purpose could taking His body serve?
Only one scenario made sense though, He actually did rise from the dead, didn’t He mention something like that a few times? Something about on the third day?
No one could’ve just come here and taken His body, there were Roman guards posted here to ensure that didn’t happen. Nobody just walks past a Roman guard…. unless it was another Roman, a more powerful one. But the Romans didn’t have Him, if they did they would’ve made that known, after all they had just killed the man who claimed to be king, if they had His body everyone would know it.
So that must mean that Jesus is alive, He rose from the dead but where is He? Why hasn’t He made it known?
Then, there He was! Standing right in front of them, alive! How? Why? What is going on? He’s alive! That was all that really mattered now, He was back and for the disciples this meant they could carry on the plan of taking over this empire, make Jesus king cause now not even death could stop Him.
Jesus had other plans though, and it wasn’t the glory laden plan the disciples thought it was. This plan meant they would have to continue to preach the gospel and they would have to do it without Jesus by their side. This plan entailed the disciples getting hurt and even killed for what they were teaching. This plan would take the disciples to far away places, all traversed by foot, it meant they would go hungry, they would go thirsty and at times they would not want to go on.
This is a plan that would see them kicked out of homes, and kicked out of towns. This plan meant they would inevitably be beaten and mocked, much the same way Jesus was.
This plan would put them face to face with the very people who wanted to kill them.
In spite of the many reasons not to do it, the disciples had never been as ready to go as they were now. Jesus can come back from the grave! And He’s on our side, if death can’t stop Him then we will not be stopped either, we march forward and do what He asked because if this plan costs me my earthly life then so be it, for I will stand next to Jesus if it does.
Jesus is alive! Today we remember that death is no match for Jesus, today we remember that Jesus paid for our sins which ensured our entry into the presence of the Lord and all we have to do is accept the free gift of salvation.
Resurrection Sunday is the single day that changed the course of human history, no other day can even come close to the importance of this one and almost every person in every nation will take the day off and celebrate the risen Jesus.
Happy Resurrection Day.