On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Have you ever wondered what was going on in the minds of the disciples during the three days that Jesus was gone? Pretend you’re one of them. You have just watched your teacher die a horrible death on a cross, betrayed by the Jews, your own people and you’re afraid you might be next. And to make matters more confusing, you had believed the man who just died was the Messiah. Based on Jewish tradition, you thought this guy was going to be a king and you would have a prominent place in his kingdom. But now he’s gone. What are you supposed to do?
So they barred themselves in a room and waited, not sure what to do, afraid to go out.
They were baffled, and rightly so, because they didn’t understand God’s plan or His timetable. It must have been the longest three days of their lives and I’m sure they thought God had abandoned them. Only after their period of waiting did they see Jesus and were finally able to understand God’s reason for waiting. At this time in history, many people believed the soul stayed inside the body for three days. One of the reasons Jesus waited was so no one could say that He hadn’t really died.
Sometimes we have periods of waiting, as well. For things we think God has promised, for questions we need answers to, or even periods of waiting for a loved one to come to the Lord when nothing seems to be happening. But God has a purpose in the waiting. He hasn’t abandoned you or the ones you pray for–no matter how it might seem. The darkest part of the disciples’ lives came just before they rejoiced in the arms of their risen Savior.
Dear Lord, remind us constantly of Your faithfulness. Our hearts long to trust You and find comfort in You during the waiting. In Jesus’ name, amen.