“…when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’ John 20:19.
It was a weekend like none other. Just a few evenings ago they had been sitting around the table with Jesus laughing, reclining and making more memories. Jesus had said some things they couldn’t fully understand but they had become accustomed to the mysterious manner in which He spoke. And then their world went horribly wrong and betrayal and abandonment were their companions. Jesus had predicted this but their pride wouldn’t allow them to accept it, after all they adored Him. Why would they ever distance themselves from Him? Who could have foreseen that they would replace their devotion with desertion? I can only imagine the guilt that hung in the air after all of the chaos was over. Their mentor and friend suffered a horrible death, and not only had they failed to intervene but turned and walked off. ‘Why hadn’t they rushed the soldiers to save Him? Why did they become so fearful and take off? How could they possibly have turned the other way? If only…But when Christ appeared in their dim little room, He came not with chastisement but with comfort.
One of the most normal emotions I hear in grief counseling is the hypnotizing chants of guilt. I should have…If only…Why did I…Why didn’t I? These questions build thoughts that produce a misconception that we have the ability to ‘out power’ God. The Bible states ‘The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand…For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24, 27. It is tempting to take on the responsibility of the outcome of tragedy, but we have no more power in preventing God’s plan than the disciples had during that weekend. God had a plan for mankind which involved the death of Christ. He had a plan for my loved ones that involved stretching His Father arms out to them and bidding them home. He looked upon their lives and was ready to give them everything. His plan included whisking them out of this old world and giving them life…real life…joyful life …perfect life.
I know for certain that if I were to ask my loved ones if they would like to return to our world their answers would be no. Why would they give up the perfect for the broken, the joyful for the suffering? Our Father has purposed and determined for each of His children to return to Him one by one. In this truth I have hope that everything and every passing is the perfect plan of God to give imperfect people eternal life.