None of His disciples were watching out for His resurrection! That was absolutely crazy, as it was THE pivotal theological and out-of-this-world event: it was a one of a kind phenomenon never ever to be repeated again in human history. The conundrum was that either none of them understood and believed Him that He would be raised in three days, or they were shell-shocked. Perhaps it was a combination of both.
Traumatization, of the category the disciples experienced, would affect their thinking and feeling processes for a certain period of time. It was likely that a few may even be coping with depression. God knew that, and He appreciated the fact that it would take a while for healing to run its natural course. He was not about to thrust these precious ones that He had carefully trained for three years, into a carnivorous world with their traumatic triggers still intact. It was likely that our Lord remained another forty days to helm his disciples’ important recovery process. This is God’s compassion in full throttle.
The recovery environment was their home ground, Galilee, away from Jerusalem, where all the critical incidents occurred. Recalled His instructions that He would see them in Galilee after several appearances around Jerusalem. There, He met with them at a leisurely pace, allowing them to do the familiar things that they were accustomed to in their earlier days. It is not uncommon for traumatized persons to have fragmented memories, and it takes time for these memories to be recounted and reframed, before healing can take place. I would like to have been a bee, zooming around and listening in on their daily conversations, because His disciples needed to refreshed their memory system on the many lessons they had learnt being with Jesus, and for further new data to be uploaded before He could leave them. Jesus is a psychologist par excellence. Note that God did not snap His fingers for immediate healing here.
When His disciples were ready to continue the mission He had for them, His final instructions were given to them, and they were commissioned as evangels. He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures, unhindered by their past traumas.
Then, the penultimate jigsaw went into place. They heard a number of times that He came from His Father and that He would return one day, and they needed to see this process for themselves. This time, they were all there at Mount Olivet, watching incredulously as Jesus ascended and disappeared from them one last time. On this occasion, it is recorded that they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with GREAT JOY. Wow! What a difference. I would have loved to be that bee on that day too. Maybe God recorded it on some heavenly video media for a playback one day. I will go for a rewind anytime.
The final piece of the jigsaw fell into place in a closed room in Jerusalem, where His followers were instructed to wait, when His Holy Spirit appeared and filled them. Now, they were ready to plant Christ’s Church far and wide.