Those were the words that rang in the minds of His followers. The men and women He had led were now bereft of love beyond compare. Dreams of the future were quickly turning into nightmares. His death spoke ominously of their own prospects. It meant something powerful to them. Does it to us? Or is it simply a three day weekend? Well, you know, we know the story, right? They didn’t. Jesus had told them, but they did not comprehend, it didn’t register. He was dead; they were quite sure of that, but that was about the only thing they were sure of. They were confused, frustrated, grief stricken, and afraid. They weren’t looking forward to hunting for brightly colored eggs.
We focus on Christ’s pain and abandonment leading up to and culminating in the cross. And we absolutely should. But, Christ is not the “us” in point of comparison. We are them. Can we imagine being so lost that there seemed no way out? Can we imagine being afraid to go outside ourselves? Can we imagine abandoning hope? I can, almost.
And then, suddenly, the women say the tomb is empty. Hope pops up like one of the mechanical gophers from an old arcade game. Joy floods in, dampening fear. Purpose pushes aside despondency. We live with a risen Lord! (sorry spoiler alert: I know Easter is not until tomorrow.)
I encourage you this Holy Weekend to ask this question: Who is Jesus? To my mind and way of thinking, it is the most important question to be asked, and answered. Who is this man that walked the Earth two thousand years ago? Who is this man who spoke publicly for only three years, in a very small area, with no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, but now claims almost a third of the Earth’s population as followers? What is the deal? This is a question I will keep asking and answering for my whole life. To me, He is the carpenter’s son, the Nazarene, the rabble rouser, my Lord, my Savior, my hope, my peace, my brother, my father, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, and the person who helped a teenage boy find sense again in a world gone stale. If you don’t know him, I think you are missing out. If you are not the praying type, can I suggest a good icebreaker? Simply pray, “Hello?”. If you prayed that for ten years before you got an answer, it would be time well spent. Or, try finding someone you see who exudes love, and professes His name. Talk to that person. Or read the book of John in the New Testament. It is one perspective on Jesus’ life. Life is too short to miss Him. God bless you and I pray that you find Truth and Love.