What always strikes me about the events of the Passion is the disbelief of the disciples. None of them believed Jesus would rise from the dead. None of them believed that this one final prophecy of His would come true. No one stood outside the grave waiting for His appearance (except the Roman guards of course). No one anticipated His return, or prepared for it. In fact, the only preparation you see is the women, taking more spices to the tomb early on that Sunday morning, in further preparation of the body, and probably to see his face one more time before corruption set in.
All of the disciples huddled together in that Upper Room. While other families were together and celebrating the Passover, doing as families do, the disciples were afraid. They were scared that they would be found out. Who knows where Judas went. I don’t think at this point they knew what had happened to Judas since they saw him in the garden two nights ago. Maybe Judas was going to betray them all?
Imagine the self-recrimination taking place. If only I had known Judas better. If only we spent more time talking to him. How could he betray Jesus? Did Jesus know? I can imagine a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on in that room on that Sabbath day. There would have been angry words, short tempers, and we would probably have seen these disciples at their worst, but bonded together by their fear. They surely wouldn’t separate now, because someone else might be a traitor too. They wouldn’t dare let each other out of their sight.
There would have been discussion about what to do next. Peter might have been the first to suggest to go back to Galilee and resume the fishing business. Their might have been some remembrances and stories told. “Remember the time Jesus said, …” They might have laughed and chuckled at a familiar event or too, or when they remembered the consternation of the Pharisees and Sadducees just a few days ago, only to remember it was those same that condemned Jesus to death, and then all would be quiet again.
They were all mourning. They were grieving at the loss of a man who had done nothing wrong. He had in fact been more right about more things than all of them. And was He really the Son of God? There was probably some discussion about that subject. How could the Son of God allow something like this to happen to Him? There might have been the topic of leading an insurrection, no doubt lead by Simon the Zealot, but then they would remember that that wasn’t Jesus’ way. Peter would point out his incident in the garden with Malchus, the High Priest’s servant and his ear. ‘Those who live by the sword will die by the sword,” even though they had the two swords.
Sorry Saturday would not have been a lively day, but it certainly prepared them. They all needed the rest, and their hearts were being prepared for what was coming by a Heavenly Father and a Holy Spirit who was reminding them of the things Jesus said. They were receiving comfort in the midst of their sorrow, because the Father was still there with His Son’s chosen, keeping them safe until the Plan could be put into effect.
Like those disciples, we don’t know what’s coming. Though we’ve been told over and again that Jesus is coming back, it’s been so long that we are no longer certain. But Jesus has not left us. His presence is always with us. unlike those disciples, we know the end of that story, and the Living Jesus is with us today. His return is not just promised, but certain. His presence is always and forever. We need not wait for the end of the world to preach a risen Lord. He is risen, and today we have hope because of it.
Lord Jesus, we are reminded those millennia ago that there was a day when the world wasn’t sure You were coming back. We are glad You did. And may we continue to worship You today because You are Living and Active, You are present and working in us today. Thank You Jesus for rising from the dead and being our Savior. May wherever I go be a time I am with You. In Your holy Name I pray, Amen.