Three Hours after Christ Died

Peter is nearly inconsolable over in the corner weeping bitterly. He had been so loud, so bold, so passionate and then in the hour of what he said would be his finest moment, he had failed. [1]

Andrew, his brother, takes one look at Peter and is stunned into paralysis. He has never seen his loquacious older brother looking so lost and broken. [2]

Matthew is numb, stunned into mumbled reflections, “He loved me before anyone else. He loved me and called me from my tax booth. What will I do now?” [3]

Philip, always the practical one, seems lost. He doesn’t know where to center his thoughts. His mind is looping over and over with one question, one silent thought echoes through his soul, “I can’t believe just last night we were arguing over which of us was going to be greatest in His kingdom?” [4]

Thomas, is nowhere to be found. Shattered and crushed by his worst nightmares and predictions being realized is probably hiding expecting authorities to come and do to each of them what they had just done to Jesus. Maybe, looking like Jesus isn’t an advantage anymore? [5]

James and John are seething with the impulsive anger that caused Jesus to call them “Sons of Thunder.” They occupy another corner of the upper room looking alternately like an explosion ready to happen and a silent implosion of rage. [6]

Simon, the Zealot, is thinking of reverting back to his old violent days before Jesus called him to follow. Before Jesus! “How is it possible that He’s gone?” His thoughts hit him like waves hitting the boat that night Jesus calmed the storm. “Jesus,” he hears himself cry. [7]

James, Alphaeus’s boy, is as quiet as always and just keeps staring off to the east of the city, tears streaming down his face. [8]

Bartholomew, some called him Thaddeus, seated on the floor next to James and there is a pool of tears below his bowed head.

Judas, broken, remorseful and hopeless, has already committed suicide. [9]

Less than a day before, in the upper room, He told them He would be betrayed. He told them he would be handed over to violent men. He told them that He would die. And then He gazed into the eyes of troubled men’s hearts and said these words,

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Three hours after His death, they had forgotten these words. But three days later, when the stone was rolled away and He rose out the grave as the conquerer of sin and death, the Spirit of God brought them to mind and these words made them bold to proclaim. May they do the same for us in our day. He’s alive. Tell the world. We are resurrection people.

[1] Cf. Matthew 26:75; Luke 22:62.

[2] Cf. Matthew 4:18, 10:2; Mark 1:16; John 1:40, 44, 6:8.

[3] Cf. Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:27.

[4] Cf. Luke 6:14; John 1:43-45.

[5] Cf. Matthew 10:3; Luke 6:15; John 11:16, 20:26.

[6] Cf. Matthew 4:21, 10:2; Mark 1:19, 29; 3:17; Luke 9:54; Acts 12:2.

[7] Cf. Matthew 10:4; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13.

[8] Cf. Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13. Traditions says James took the gospel to Iran and died there.

[9] Cf. Matthew 10:4; 26:14, 25, 47-49; 27:1-4; Mark 3:19, 14:10.

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