How wonderful, how glorious! Mary Magdalene didn’t know that’s how her morning was going to play out! Can you imagine Mary’s surprise when she saw the stone was moved away from the opening.
When the unexpected happens, we often freeze. But Mary immediately ran to find help. I can almost picture what happened when she found Peter and the other disciple. She was out of breath, trying to get each word out amidst her confusion and fear. She blurted out, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Despair. Grief. Fear. The disciples and followers of Jesus were feeling all of these things and more. Jesus had been put into the tomb. He was dead. That was the end of a good run. The people were wondering to themselves, “now what?” Their life had meaning when Jesus was alive. They followed him. They listened to him. They watched him do great things. And now he’s gone.
I wanted to imagine their feelings of lament. They hadn’t understood what he had said about the whole three day thing. It didn’t make sense in their context, so it was simply put out of mind. How would they find comfort? In each other? I’m sure they were all afraid for their own lives. After all, they were Jesus’ closest friends. Would they be next? Were they ready to die, too?
How can we even imagine what Jesus went through in these final hours. Pilate tried to set him free, but Jesus’ destiny had been set. You can read the whole chapter of Mark 15 for more of those details. It used to shock me how the people turned on Jesus. And while it is still shocking, I can see how God had to cloud their minds so that the cries of “crucify him” would be more than Pilate could bear. These outlandish charges would not warrant a death sentence.
But imagine how Jesus, that is God, felt hearing the angry cries, the chants calling for his death. Even though he expected to die, it had to be difficult to hear coming from the people who days before had been shouting, “Hosanna!” These were the very people he loved so much and would be giving his life for. The inner turmoil must have been agonizing. He couldn’t just blink his eyes and have it over with. He had to endure the cruelty of the cross for us.
Jesus knew the cross was coming. He knew the agony that awaited Him. Keep that in mind as you read these words from Jesus’ final hours. You may even want to read the entire chapter for a richer understanding. Read the whole chapter here Luke 22.
What spoke to me today was how often we fall asleep like the disciples. How many times have we missed the message from God we were supposed to hear because we were too busy making our own plans. How many times have we fallen prey to the temptations of the world closing in around us?