Alleluia, He is risen!
As I read through the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, questions and thoughts race through my head. Are you like that?
After Jesus died, one of the Roman soldiers was awed at Jesus and His cry, and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15.39) Was that soldier still there after they took Jesus’ body off the cross? I think of that hymn, The Old Rugged Cross; it was stained with blood so divine. What became of that cross? Did the soldier take it home with him? Were there miracles wrought through that blood, to believers? Was that soldier humbled? Did he follow Jesus? Was he one of them who saw Jesus after He resurrected?
Jesus was laid in the tomb. Joseph had been compelled to offer it, at a great monetary cost to himself and family. How did that come about? What was his backstory? How did he know about Jesus, and why did he “happen” to be there? And, it was foretold in Isaiah 53.9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
When the women arrived Sunday morning to embalm Jesus, there were angels, telling them, “He is not here!” The Bible tells about angels rejoicing. How much emotion do angels feel / demonstrate? Were they anguished and weeping at Jesus’ crucifixion? When Jesus said that He could call upon more than twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26.53), were they there in an instant, ready to defend their Lord?
Mark 16.19, 20: After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked through them, confirming His word by the signs that accompanied it. After Jesus was taken up into Heaven, He worked together with the disciples. What does that mean? The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent. Was His Spirit with them in this special way?
And what of the disciples? For three years they had walked with Jesus, learning from Him, extracting everything He wished to give them. They believed He was The Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16.16). Jesus had evaded the authorities many times, but then He was taken and crucified. He didn’t come down off the cross when taunted (Matthew 27.38-44; Mark 15.36) – although I think the disciples believed He surely could have, maybe wondered why He didn’t. Then He died. He actually died. They could see He was dead, and buried.
But then came Sunday! He is risen!
I cannot fathom the wild range of emotions the disciples swung through, trying to keep up with all Jesus was showing them. They implicitly trusted Him, tried their very hardest and best to understand. In the meantime, they obeyed. They just put one foot in front of the other, wherever Jesus said to walk, and they went.
And, just as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit came alongside them, inside them, explaining and giving peace and direction and joy and understanding. And power! Such bold preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and God our Savior!
And now Almighty God is inside each of us as believers! May we be as bold and knowledgeable (with the mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2.16) and as wise as the men and women of the Bible, all of whom God gives as examples.
And may we keep wondering and examining His Word.