There are times, when I read scripture, that I have a really hard time putting myself in the place of the disciples. I wonder how they could see all that they saw and still be such dunderheads. How could they not get it? He was right there! He calmed the storm. He healed the sick. He even raised the dead, for crying out loud!
How could they not believe him when he said he would rise from the dead?
Then he died.
Ok, this definitely feels different.
Yeah, we saw him raise a couple of dead people back to life, but now he’s dead. Who’s gonna raise him?
Then, the tomb was empty! What happened?!? Where did he go?!?
Then he shows up at dinner!! He’s here eating fish and chips with us!
Then he disappears…
What we call “Holy Week” is over. Life goes on. This has to be a weird time for the disciples. This period of time after Easter and before Jesus’ ascension to heaven intrigues me.
He died, but he’s not dead. No, he wasn’t “undead”…a zombie…he was alive, really alive. But he died, they saw it! But he’s not dead, they saw that too. This was what they had to grasp.
He gave them forty days.
After that, he promised he’d come back, but he didn’t say when.
But, oddly, when I ask myself what they may have been thinking and feeling during that six week period, I think I know. I think I can put myself in their place during this time.
Because it’s where we live, isn’t it?
We’ve seen some evidence of Jesus in our lives. If we’ve ever met him at all, he’s changed us. Or maybe we’ve seen him change someone we know. I remember, very clearly, some specific times when I know he was right here. It was him, without a doubt. It’s the only explanation. Haven’t you experienced that? I know I was dead in my sins, but I’m not anymore. He’s conquered death…hasn’t he? But where is he? What’s he doing right now? When will he show up again? That was really him, right?
That’s right where we live.
He died, but he’s not dead.
He promised he’d come back, but he didn’t say when.
Do you have more questions than answers? Do you want to believe but sometimes you’re just not sure? Are you wondering when, or even if, Jesus is going to show up again? So did these guys, and look what happened with them.
I say we hang in there and see what comes next.