If you could travel back in time to history’s most important Friday and relive that day in 33 AD, what would you hear as you walked the streets of Jerusalem? The city had swelled in size because it was Passover, but the conversation was not the annual rites at the Temple. No, that significant sacrifice was overshadowed by the crucifixion of Jesus. As people contemplated the events, they exclaimed: Finished! Epic life ended! Last chapter of a miraculous life has closed with a tragedy!
The Messiah you have been following has been nothing more than a grandiose dreamer with Messianic aspirations, and your dream has ended in a nightmare. In stunned silence and in a state of shock, you wonder: What now? How could all of this happen? How could so many people have believed a lie?
A cloud of despair hangs heavily on your doubting heart as you try to make sense of the disaster that has disrupted your life. Friday has been an arduous day, but at least there has been a lot of activity. When you woke up Saturday morning, you hoped that yesterday was just a bad dream; however, when you looked into the sunken eyes of your fellow disciples, reality buckles your knees: Your Hope has been crucified; Jesus is dead; and, Saturday drags on and seems like it’ll never end.
From that Friday of 33 AD, to the Friday of today, there is a perceptional gap that is every bit as deep as it is wide in years. All the disciples of 33 AD had was a form of spiritual PTSD and the stench of death, but you have the benefit of history.
You know the story doesn’t end with that dramatic death on the cross. You know there is an encore to what the disciples thought was the final Act, and it was announced to those few devoted women who went to the tomb: He is not here; He has risen!
The fact of the resurrection turned men of cowardly hearts into courageous soldiers of the cross, and in a few short years the infant church shook Rome. This is the mobilizing power of the resurrection and the proof of what can happen when a group of people are infused with hope . . . people just like you.
I encourage you to share the hope and live the message as you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus this Sunday.