THE END IS NOT YET
It was the best Passover ever. Jesus the Messiah had long planned it and opened proceedings by saying, “I have long desired to eat this special feast with you.” After that He explained how they would be able to eat His flesh and drink His blood in future as they remembered Him.
There were some puzzling things like: who would betray Him, and talk of His death and going away. But the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, made them content to wait for a later explanation.
At the climax Jesus had prayed for them and others who would believe. They sang a hymn and went out in high spirits to the prayer garden in Gethsemane. Jesus had told them they had enough defence so they were not afraid.
In the garden things changed. First Jesus became very depressed and begged them to pray for Him.
He separated from them and went and prayed alone in anguish.
Then it happened! The soldiers and guards of the temple came with a great crowd. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Peter grabbed a small sword and cut off a man’s ear with one swipe. He was ready to defend Jesus.
Jesus said, “Put up your sword,” and restored the man’s ear. He then went quietly with them to judgement before the High Priest. In contrast we were all scared and the strongest among us, Peter, even denied Jesus three times. Now behind locked doors we feared for our lives.
John and some of the ladies were keeping a close watch on the proceedings and came back to report that Jesus had been crucified and, thanks to Joseph they were able to place Jesus in a clean tomb. We knew Joseph would be excommunicated for this action.
Despite our fear and despondency we could do no more for two holy days followed. So we commiserated with one another. Jesus, whom we had hoped would set up God’s Kingdom again for Israel, was dead. All hope was gone.
Then again things changed again; early on the first day of the week the ladies went to the tomb so as to complete their preparation of Jesus' body for burial. Breathlessly, Mary returned and banged on the door. We went down and hysterically Mary said, “He’s not there. Someone has taken the body away.”
“Don’t be foolish, woman,” Peter replied, “A huge stone was rolled in front of the tomb and sealed with a Roman seal. The tomb was also guarded by a troop of soldiers. No one could have done that without someone knowing.”
“It’s true,” Mary insisted, “The stone was rolled away and Jesus body is gone.”
Peter and John decided to go and see for themselves and ran to the tomb. Just as Mary had said they found the stone rolled away and no body in the tomb. The cloths in which He had been wrapped lay on the slab but the linen head covering lay in a separate place. It was strange.
They started back but Mary would not leave. “I must find Him,” she said.
Later Mary returned to tell us she had seen Jesus and He was alive and would soon come to meet us.
We were certain that her grief had caused her to hallucinate. Even as we discussed these things in great confusion, Jesus appeared among us. He was alive and the same real person we had been with for the past three and a half years. What joy!
Over the next forty days Jesus convinced us of His resurrection by many infallible proofs, and then we watched as He ascended into Heaven.
We returned to Jerusalem and ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, we were all filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in languages we had never learned. We were on cloud nine once more.
What a rollercoaster ride we had all had, but the end was not yet.
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