It had been hours since he died. The Apostles were still stunned. They were at a loss of what they should do.
During their years with Jesus he had, on occasion, spoken of his death. He described it as a sacrifice.
At the time they thought he might be talking about his passing in the distant future. Since he spoke so often in parables, using analogies and metaphors to make a point, some felt he wasn’t being literal. Although they had not bought into the rumor that he was a great military leader that many believed, they were convinced he was on the brink of something that would usher in a new day.
But they never considered it would come to this. They had pledged to be by his side, but fled for safety just as he predicted. He was betrayed by one of his own, one of them. They hauled him away like a dangerous criminal.
Insulted, tortured, flogged, forced to carry his own cross to The Place of the Skull where he was murdered among common thieves. They didn’t just tie him to a cross like most who were crucified. They used iron spikes and nailed him into place. His bleeding back, torn open and raw from the flogging, rubbed against the splintered blood stain used cross.
During the hours he hung there he said a few things, but nothing that would help them answer the question “Why?” Why did this have to happen? Why didn’t he resist? Why, if he was the Christ, was this even possible?
Now, hours later, they hid, uncertain if the authorities would be after them. They also needed to be alone together, consoling each other, trying to comprehend what had happened.
As they talked, they thought about what he had said over the years. He spoke of the realm of God as something above and beyond. He had food to eat that they knew nothing about [John 4:32]. One could only see the Kingdom of God if they were born again [John 3:3]. He told them, the night before his arrest when they shared the Passover, that he would go and the Spirit of God would come to them to help them take their next steps [John 16:5-11].
Unable to sleep, they talked about these and other comments that he had made. During the Passover meal he had said that he wouldn’t leave them as orphans, but would come to them. Only them? [John 14:18-19]. It was all too confusing.
For most of the time they sat, silent, deep in their own thoughts, reluctant to voice their fears, their uncertainties, their feelings that they have been abandoned. Then there was the danger of being known associates of a man executed by the Roman Empire for treason, even though the charges were flimsy.
They sat. They thought. They felt. The hours passed. It was the morning of the third day.
Right after dawn there was a knock at the door. Had they been discovered? Had the authorities found them?
No. The knock was too discreet, soft, even feminine. Someone quietly checked, and opened the door.
Mary Magdalene walked in.
Dave Soucie lives, serves and writes in Indianapolis
Copyright © 2021 by Dave Soucie. All rights reserved [but permission is granted for non-commercial use only, with proper citation].