Jesus’ Last Days (Part 2)

What shall I do now that I have been tarred with a convicted criminal? Where can I go, back home to Galilee? How can I give a respectable answer to all the questions about my Master and what happened in the last few days? The shock and loss resulting from the rapid succession of events provided little time for the disciples to digest the reality that they were plunged into. It was a horrible time, and it seemed that the life of the nascent church would be snuffed out before its birth.

But the penalty for sin had to be eternally settled, and God offered Himself. He was at work and none could hinder Him! Those closest to Him, on earth, were made to die to themselves. Their own worth and the ideas that they held were challenged in that darkness. It was a necessary process if we are to continue to follow Him, as there could be no turning back.

None of Jesus’ closest companions saw the resurrection! Who would roll the stone away for us? God is so mindful, He thinks about everything. Jesus could have walked out of the tomb in His resurrection body, as He appeared and disappeared countless number of times thereafter. Maybe He did, but He had the tombstone rolled away for Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James), Salome, Peter and the other disciple. The Gospel narratives give a rather interesting profile of Jesus. Briefly, He is rather publicity shy and gentle, but not timid; not imposing on others; always favoring the disadvantaged, the needy and the wounded; a man of few requests (can be counted on one hand); He spoke with a conviction that implies experience; a Master discipler; and people were drawn to Him. He is patient and gracious to the point of being otherworldly, fancy having a Judas as a disciple for three years! The platform was not His favorite mode of engagement with people.

However, Jesus’ immediate concern was again other-centered, to assure His disciples and those closest to Him that He is alive. The initial disbelief and subsequent excitement were uncontainable. Can you imagine the exchange between the women who discovered the empty tomb and Simon and the others: cynicism and accusations of being psychotic would be flung at them. But it was exhilarating to confirm that the tomb was indeed empty. He raised others, who raised Him? That question was no longer moot. What is crucial is to experience daily that we have been raised with Him as we have died with Him; the implications are found in Colossians 3:1 – 4:6.

As Jesus began appearing to different ones, the healing from their trauma of the past days was in progress. Has He changed? Is He the same man that we knew before? Can He eat? What will He do now? How long will He remain with us? Will He disappear again? How to regard Someone who can walk through walls and yet is physically solid? This has never happened before! And it has not happened since. Their insecurities, like mine, were innate and understandable. Before they departed from Jerusalem, Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit, and it sealed the healing process. Their gestation period was destined to end, and the era of the primeval church was to begin soon.