Quite possibly the darkest day of the year. Jesus is dead. Imagine the hopelessness the disciples felt today. Can we relate?
For the disciples, today was even more depressing than a Lutheran being stuck in Baptist Country over Easter. It was even more desperate than being rejected after seeking a job for two years. Darker than abandoning high school graduation party preparations to plan the funeral of a five year old. Can imagine what the disciples felt today?
A large group gathered together in a dark upper room. The door locked out of fear. No one had bothered to light the lamp. No one wanted to speak. Complete darkness. It was not only a physical surrounding but also an emotional feeling. Their best friend, their leader... was dead. Not even a week earlier He'd been celebrated. He was welcomed as a king. Not even forty-eight hours previous they'd enjoyed a meal together. Now He was gone. Everything happened so quickly.
The room was filled with a myriad of emotions: hurt, regret, failure, longing, desperation, depression, darkness, confusion, loneliness, loss... the list goes on. Yet the most prevalent had to be hopelessness.
"Where do we go from here?" They must have asked. If not aloud, then in their minds and in their hearts.
"How could this have happened?"
"I really didn't see this coming. Did He?"
The incessant number of unanswerable questions plagued them as they sat, paced, and cried.
Silence in a crowd. Darkness in the middle of the day. Loneliness among great friends.
Maybe we've been there. Unlike the disciples, we know the rest of the story. Unlike the disciples, we have hope.
"Peace be with you." A voice rudely interrupts their ponderings. Who would offer peace on such a dreary day?
Every head lifted. Every eye turned. They saw Jesus. Their sins collided with their Savior and their Savior won. Think about the first time you ever saw Him. Think about your first encounter with the Christ. Rope yourself in that moment. Resurrect the relief. Recall the purity. Summon forth the passion. Can you remember? Do yourself a favor and place yourself in the upper room with the disciples. Kneel before Jesus.
Run your fingers over His feet. Place your hand in His pierced side. When His nail-scarred hand slides under your chin and lifts gently, don't flee. When your teary eyes meet His compassionate ones, don't look away. Look in to those eyes, those same eyes that melted the gates of hell, sent the demons scurrying, and Satan running. Look at them as they look at you. Accept the warm embrace from the living Savior and never, ever let go.
Note: the final to paragraphs are modified from Max Lucado's Six Hours On Friday.