The trauma was over. In them was the backlash of post traumatic stress. In the world darkness reigned.
Those that had walked with the light huddled in secret places. They knew they were safe on this Sabbath day. But tomorrow, well, that would be another thing when the Jewish leaders were no longer constrained by Sabbath limitations. Then the same darkness that swallowed Jesus would over run them.
It wasn’t mostly fear that made them hide; it was shame. Clusters of disciples sat in silence, heads down, consumed by regret. Little conversation, little care for basic needs, little of anything except being overrun by internal darkness. A knot of women stayed close to Mary, His mother, trying to be and do what she needed. But what is there anyone can do after watching her oldest son tumble from the pinnacle of success to scandalous disgrace resulting in appalling death?
Peter sat alone, mindlessly twisting his robe, rocking back and forth, staring at his sandals. A few had put their arms around him, others stayed away as if Peter’s thrice betrayal would infect them. He was best left alone. Well, not really, but at each approach he began to weep and moan anew. Hopeless and helpless, unable to see any path out of the guilt of his abandonment and treason. “Had Judas taken the right road?” he could prevent himself from wondering. No, that can’t be right. But there can be no way out of this. There is nothing to do but wait for arrest and death. We had been so SURE! How could we have been so wrong? Regardless, all hope is bankrupt. Gone. Only darkness.
Same with us after Good Friday. Without hope. Plunged into DARKNESS we are helpless against. Besieged by the shame of our betrayal and abandonment. Guilty of sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. Without God and without hope. Bound for the same kind of death and deservedly so.
Easter will mean little unless we pause to suffer the darkness. Light is not valued unless we allow ourselves to be enveloped by the pitch blackness in which we live without the resurrected Christ.
We will not celebrate raucously, with abandon unless the bottomless darkness is pierced and expelled by resurrected life. Unless the impossible, miraculous life is felt in contrast with the hopeless darkness.
I cannot imagine the palpable darkness of Jesus’ followers after Good Friday. It is both a blessing and a curse to know the end of the story. You and I will never be able to delight in Easter as Jesus’ followers did. Well, not on earth. But someday, when we see Him as they did. THEN we won’t be able to stop dancing!!
12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13 (NIV)
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