The LORD was dead. What else were they to think? Jesus had been violently taken away from the disciples. He was brutally whipped. He had His hair pulled out and His beard plucked. A crown of thorns was mashed into His skull. He was investigated, interrogated, isolated. And where were His followers? Gone, scattered like rats when a light comes on. Only a few close to Him witnessed His barbaric crucifixion.
Following the terrible ordeal the disciples met in quiet and in secret. Where would they go from here? I imagine their stunned silence was broken only by the spasmodic sobs of their inconsolable grief. Jesus’ death was surreal. It blindsided them. But why weren’t they prepared? Because none of them remembered that Jesus had told them He would suffer many things, be rejected, and be killed. The most important thing they didn’t remember was that Jesus said He would rise again. He would come back to life.
They were so deluded by what they saw and by what they heard in the natural that the very words of the LORD Himself were buried with Him. They didn’t pause to remember, to ponder, and to rehearse what Jesus had said. They didn’t pause to consider that it wasn’t that the Father couldn’t deliver His Son from the cross but He wouldn’t deliver Him because Jesus had a mission to complete. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. And not just any blood would do, but that of something, and in this case, Someone spotless, blameless. Without the gift of God and the sacrifice of Jesus all of humanity was doomed. But the disciples didn’t quite understand that yet.
While His disciples mourned His untimely death, Jesus went to the bowels of the fiery earth. While His disciples shook with sobs the demons shook in terror because the Son of God, the Holy of Holies, showed up on their doorstep. Jesus took from satan the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18). I have a notion that night wasn’t silent but it was holy. Unfortunately, the grieving disciples couldn’t see the truth beyond the evidence of the crucifixion. The evidence said their LORD was dead; the truth was that Jesus was alive and warring while the disciples were in unbelief and mourning.
I wonder what it would have been like if one of the disciples came out of his grief-stricken stupor long enough to ask, “Hey! Do any of you remember Jesus saying something about rising again on the third day?” And what if one of them answered, “Yeah. I do seem to recall Him saying something like that.” And what if another said, “Hey! Me too!” And what if their sorrow turned to joy? And what if they made cake and waited in expectation to celebrate with their LORD?
What if . . .
. . . we would be those disciples? What if we would stand and say, “I don’t care what I hear or see in the natural, I know what God has said. He said divine healing/miracles will come. He said nothing hidden will remain. He said Jesus will draw His sword and sing songs of deliverance over people in the night. He said He will not be mocked. He said He is not only able but willing and He will have His way. Therefore I choose to believe He will fulfill His Word no matter what I see or hear because I know what God has said and I know in whom I have believed.” What if we would be those people?
Join me in continuing to trust. Let’s be the people who believe no matter what happens. God is looking for faith in the earth. May we be named among the faithful.
Miracles happen just like that. Put on your seat belt. We’re going for a ride.