I always find this day, the day between Good Friday and Easter very interesting.
I mean pain and suffering on one end and joy unbounding on the other. Like two unmatched bookends. I often wonder what the disciples were thinking, what they were feeling.
Probably fear. After all, their leader, the man they assumed would be a king, even though he always told them he wouldn’t, had been crucified by the authorities. There would be no earthly kingdom now. The argument (Luke 22:24) among the disciples as to who would be the greatest was a moot point now.
Would they be arrested next? Did they huddle in fear in their homes? What did their grief look like? Was it grief without hope? We know it probably was because the next day when Mary Magdelene and the other women told them about the empty tomb and what the angel had said ( Mark 16:11), (John 20: 1 & 2, Luke 24:10 has a slightly different timeline), the disciples didn’t believe her. (Except for Peter, (Luke 24:12) and John, (John 20:3).
(A side note for further clarification of the above: Matthew, Luke, and John, when you strip away the elaborations bring their accounts into relative harmony with Mark’s account. and nearly all scholars believe that the book of Mark was the first narrative gospel to be written, making it as close as we can get to the first account of the resurrection.” Reference Biblical Hermneneutics Stack Exchange.
(It’s a good read to compare the different gospels’ narrative but remember, just because they are different, the truth is the same. Jesus rose from dead!)
Were the disciples distancing themselves as much as possible from any connection to Jesus? How many people knew they followed this teacher? How many people saw them with Jesus?
We can also safely assume they were wondering about their “message”. What would it be now? Was there even a message left? All their hopes were dashed.
And were they thinking about Judas? Were they hating him for what he had done? Or did they remember the words of Jesus during the Last Supper, when after they were told one of them would betray him, they each wondered if it was himself (Matt 26:21, 22), meaning they each knew they were capable of it?
How were they treating Peter? Better yet, did they even know what Peter had done? Were they regretting that they had ALL betrayed Jesus in some form or another, scattering in different directions as Jesus was being taken away from the Garden? (Matthew 26:56)
We know for sure they never understood that Jesus would be resurrected.
This is our in-between time. Our in-between began with the start of the quarantine and won’t end until the quarantine does.
The disciples didn’t know on this in-between day that it even was their in-between day. We at least know that we do have a day in the future when this will all be over.
So what are we doing with our in-between time?
We can moan and complain about all we can’t do.
We don’t get to do our own shopping. We can’t engage in our favorites activities. We are stuck. “Boo-Hoo”.
There are so many who are truly struggling through this. Young families whose parents are trying to work and “school” their children all at the same time.
Then there are those who’ve lost their jobs and their business for whom this in-between time is going to be a lot longer than a couple of months.
There are those on the front-lines who are risking their lives.
Then there are those who have lost a loved one. Their in-between time will never really end.
For me, I’ve had the privilege to use my time as I wish. I’m not shopping, I’m not going anywhere, so this has been the perfect time for me to finish up my first e-book, called, “Finding your “More”, (Hopefully, debuting Monday.)
And there’s tomorrow. Easter.
Sure, just like all Christians everywhere, I’d like to be in church. But let’s be honest; a church is a building.
What about other nations where church buildings aren’t even a thing?
What about the early church? Again, no building. For the vast majority of his ministry, Jesus taught in the great outdoors or in private homes. I wonder what Jesus thinks when he sees us making such a big deal about not being in a specific building tomorrow. Do you think he might be saying, “I’m right here? Where you are, I am.”
The “Church” is its people. And as a people, we will be together tomorrow as we celebrate Easter. God will hear our shouts of joy. We will cry out so the rocks don’t have to. There will be a symphony of voices cascading to the heavens.
That’s what church is.
I hope your day tomorrow is filled with love. Watch this video to the end. The words could not be more appropriate for this time in our history. Your heart will practically burst! (Click on the red bar and the right video will come up.)
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