Easter Reflections….

Just Thinking….

It’s the Thursday before Good Friday. First Century.  I’m a disciple. I am confused, frightened. The Master has called us together to celebrate Passover. But it was different. He washed our feet. He talked about being betrayed. Then Judas ran out. Jesus had told him to do what he had to do. But we didn’t know what it was. Then we followed Him to Gethsemane. It was dark there among the old olive trees. And we were tired. Jesus asked us to stay awake, but our eyelids were heavy. Suddenly our drowsiness was broken by shouts and torches. It was mass confusion. Judas was back and he kissed the Master. Then Jesus was being hauled off. Peter got defensive and used his sword on one of the men storming into the garden. We were so scared…. Were we next?

Good Friday. First Century. Although it probably didn’t seem any too good to the disciples on that day. After a horrible night in the garden with the arrest and the trumped up trial, they then had to watch the Master executed like a common criminal. In fact, He was executed BETWEEN two common criminals.And they were next. They knew it. Too many people knew them as the guys who followed Jesus. That woman in the courtyard, what was it she said to Peter? “You are one of his men.” Peter denied it, of course, and then regretted it, but the fact is that if she recognized one of them, then they all were in trouble. They go into hiding in a second floor apartment, wondering where in the world the dream went wrong. The Master had seemed so confidant in Who He was; they had seen Him do miracles that could not be explained away. Had they been foolish? Deceived? Terribly naive? One thing was for sure: It was a bad Friday.

Saturday. First Century. The valley between the darkest day the world has ever known…… and the most wonderful event the world will ever know.

The disciples were not living with the post-knowledge that we have today. Their knowledge was rooted in the events of Friday, and couched in the fear of this Saturday. They were jumpy, and startled at even a knock on the door. “Are they coming for us? Who is for us? Who is against us? Who knows that we are here?”

Their feverish thoughts and hushed conversations must have centered on the audacity of putting God to death. What did the Master mean by “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Perhaps they were thinking back to just a week ago when the Master had been hailed as He entered Jerusalem, people cheering Him on, waving palm branches. How fast things changed!!

They didn’t know they were in the valley, and that the next sunrise would begin a new era of hope.

Early Sunday morning.. First Century. Faint gray light filtered the Jerusalem streets. The disciples were exhausted. Their last good sleep had been Thursday night in the garden. Funny…. they should NOT have slept then; they knew that now. But now that they needed sleep it was elusive.

They continued to talk of the events of the past days: from the earthquake and sudden darkness on Friday to the crucifixion to the generous offer of a tomb. This morning they discussed what the Master had said at the end. “Father, forgive them.” Can you imagine? Forgive….. after what they did? If it was anyone else, they would have said, “Are you kidding?” But they knew He was not joking. And then He said, “For they do not know what they are doing.” No lie.

And how about when He told one of the criminals that he would see him in paradise that very day? Unheard of.

Or at the very end, when He said, “It is finished.” What was finished?

Suddenly someone rapped sharply on the door. One disciple pulled back the tiny partition and peered out. It was Magdalene and Joanna. They came into the room, breathless, hands fluttering, stammering an incredible story.

They had been to the tomb. No one would disturb them in the pre-dawn hours, and besides, they were women. No one would think them dangerous. The first thing they noticed was that the heavy stone placed over the tomb entrance was placed now to the side.

The disciples glanced at each other and raised eyebrows. The women were probably a little mad, stricken with grief. It was understandable, but they didn’t need fantasies at this moment.

The women continued their story. They had stepped into the tomb. It was dark, but their eyes adjusted to the dim light, and they could tell that no body was there. Then two shining men had appeared, and asked them why they were seeking the living among the dead.

Nervously, Magdalene said, “The men told us, ‘He is not here; He is risen!” Then she claimed that she saw Jesus, and that He had called her by name.

One disciple snorted and muttered under his breath about idle tales, but Peter ran out of the room to check out the story for himself.

He returned with affirmation. The women were telling the truth. But the disciples still continued to huddle behind closed doors. Later in the evening, the Master suddenly appeared in the room. They gasped and fell back. But He simply said to them, “Peace be with you.”

He. Was. Alive.

Oh Father….. The resurrection is the single most important event in history. Thank You for loving us so much. I’m a disciple now….. and when confusion and terror invade my world,  remind me  that “SUNDAY IS COMING!!!!!”. Jesus said, “Take heart! For I have overcome the world!” Thank You Father, that Easter is coming!!!

To God be the Glory…..


Published in: on April 11, 2012 at 4:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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