We can all relate to what it feels like to witness a shocking event or hear about the death of a loved one that drives us into the depths of devastating emotions too alarming to process. We cannot even deal with the blow that disrupts our entire sense of who we are. It’s like this—you feel like you’ve been kicked in the teeth, yet there is no wound to doctor. The terror and amazement overwhelms your senses to the point that you almost feel that you are losing your mind. You are able to go through the motions of life; but your mind, body and spirit seem somehow disconnected from all that is happening.
Something like that is how everyone who loved Jesus was feeling after the events of Friday. They were each feeling something terrible, a shocking upset that they were not able to completely digest. By the time they opened their eyes from fitful sleep on Sunday morning, their instinct was to want to close them again and escape the appalling realities. You can imagine what it feels like to have your heart utterly broken with grief and horror and wake up wishing that what you were experiencing was merely a nightmare, yet coming face to face with the fact that you know it somehow was true.
We don’t know where the disciples fled. They found a hiding place somewhere in the city. Were they alone with their grief, or did some find comfort in the presence of others who were going through what they were experiencing? We know that somehow by Sunday they had found each other again. They were in a certain place that the women knew where to go to tell them the news they discovered that Sunday morning.
Grief is a confusing and powerful emotion. It propels us into a confusing anger. It is not rational. The anger moves quickly between anger at you yourself to anger at others. Somehow your mind is trying to find a rationale for something that has no logic. Regardless of where their grief stricken, shocked and disbelieving minds were taking them, not one of their brains could consider the glory of Sunday. Not even when Peter and John stood in the empty tomb and saw Jesus’ head wrap folded neatly and other grave clothes lying where His body had been could their minds believe the very words Jesus had told them on several occasions—He would rise from the dead.
Though grief is too heavy to process, glory is beyond our finite beings. John tells his firsthand experience of seeing glory when he writes in John 20:8-9,
“Finally the other disciple [John], who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They [Peter and John] still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)”
Easter Sunday is too glorious for our finite minds to fully take in. Even 2,000 years later our minds cannot completely process the complete upheaval of the spiritual realities in our universe and the ultimate transformation of our souls. Use the period of time between this past Easter and the Lenten/Easter season next year to challenge your mind to understand from Scripture what happened on Easter Sunday, in your soul and in the universe. It will take more than a lifetime to fully grasp what happened and you will draw closer to the heart of God’s love for you as you ponder it.