Summary: For some of us, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a reminder, not of the victory over death, but the death of victory in our lives. We fear really relishing in the resurrection because of our own failures, fears, and weaknesses. If that's you, then I've
The first Resurrection Sunday was not a happy day for the most part. For the disciples it was a day to cower in fear that they were next to be hauled away and crucified. It was a day of extreme sorrow for the women who loved Jesus so. It was a day of fear and dread for the Roman soldiers who discovered their charge had escaped the grave. It was much more a day of questions than answers as two of the disciples had a footrace to the tomb and found there—nothing but used grave clothes.
It was a day of confusion and emotional fog and fear being pulled kicking and screaming into joy that was simply too good to be true.
Each one of the main players in the story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, was hiding behind something—and Jesus then urged them to come out from their hiding place.
Let’s start with Mary Magdalene in John 20:1-18 .
Mary was so sorrowful that she didn’t recognize her Savior standing right in front of her. She wanted to hang on to what she knew-the comfortable if terrifying-but Jesus urged her to accept the resurrection as a reality.
Peter we know from verse 19 was afraid. He and the other disciples locked themselves away for fear of the Romans and perhaps the Jewish religious leaders. He had run away in fear on the night of Jesus’ arrest and denied he even knew Jesus for fear of arrest. He and John had rushed out for a quick peak at the tomb after Mary’s report but didn’t know what to make of it (though John says this was the point where he believed, it says nothing about Peter).
Peter hid from Jesus in fear and also out of regret for his failures. From the time Jesus appears alive we don’t see Peter as the leader. His name isn’t even mentioned. Then in John 21 Peter decides to go back to his old way of life, perhaps thinking that Jesus was through with him as a failure.
But Jesus appears and makes Peter reconnect his love and reconnects him with his purpose.
Thomas hid behind pride. He wasn’t there when Jesus first appeared to the disciples on that Sunday (where was he, by the way?). He said (John 20:25 ) “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!”
Thomas was more interested in his opinion than the facts as presented by others. If he wasn’t satisfied then he’d have nothing to do with it. He was an all or nothing kind of guy. Jesus appeared again (over a week later) and the first words to Thomas were a challenge. “You said you needed proof other than eye witness accounts so here it is” (no one gets that, by the way anymore). It took that to jerk Thomas from his place of stubbornness and pride into exclaiming for the first time that Jesus is God.
Finally there were the two men travelling to Emmaus the day of the Resurrection. We find their story in Luke 24:13-35 . As they walked along they argued about 1. The role of the Messiah and 2. Whether Jesus had indeed been raised. They seemed more interested in popular opinion than in the man who joined them on the road.