Let's return to the place we left off, in a world without Jesus and the sorrow and confusion and desolation of the disciples (and others who loved Jesus.)
It's been Friday night, and all of Saturday. Now it's Sunday. How soon does the numbness wear off I wonder? Are they able to eat yet? Are they arguing about what to do next? Go back to their respective homes? Forget these past 3 years? Have they started looking forward to a life without Jesus?
I'm sure their hearts are still heavy, still seeped in the deep sorrow of loss.
And then there is a loud commotion outside their locked room.
A hysterical woman.
She's claiming to have seen Jesus! That he's alive! Your heart soars for a second and you can hardly hear anything over the beating of your own heart. Can it be true??? But wait. You watched him die. Your heart plummets. Be careful, your heart warns you. Don't get your hopes up. You agree, you have already been crushed once. Someone please take that woman away. Doesn't she know how much it hurts???
Something inside won't be still. Something deep in your heart has been brought to life by this idea. Jesus... Alive... Is it possible???? He did raise people from the dead.... He did say he was the son of God.... Maybe......
The pounding of your heart nearly drowns out everything else.
You have lost all "common sense." And suddenly you are running out the door, the chance that it is true is just too much to take.
You run with all your might, not caring at the people who are staring at you. You run until your lungs start to burn and your muscles feel like they will turn to water. Now you regret not eating anything for the past day. But you find the strength somewhere and keep pushing forward.
And finally you see it! The place were Jesus was entombed. And it's open, just as the woman said. And a man in shining clothing... Jesus is no where to be found! It's true!
But where is Jesus??? Why can't I see him? Why didn't he wait for me? But he is alive.
You wait to catch your breath, and return back to the room to tell the others. It's true. Jesus was not in the tomb. But where is he? What does it all mean? Who cares? Jesus is alive!!!
Suddenly your heart is alive as well. In that short time, everything is different. Jesus has transformed your heart again. You have known true sorrow and loss. And now you have known true joy and restoration.
Then it comes. You are in the room, talking of nothing else but Jesus, when suddenly he appears! It's like a dream. The door was locked, and suddenly he is there! Before you know it, tears are on your face. He's alive! He's alive! He really is alive! All you want to do is run and cling to him and never let go.
Jesus is alive!!!
This Easter, in the routine of the holiday, in the dressing up, and hunting of eggs and the eating and the stress...
It's not just about celebrating externally. This Jesus has the power to transform our hearts, and give us true Joy. Try opening your heart to let the emotions and the experience of Jesus in.
And pray for those who are still living in the darkness. Pray for Japan, that the people here may one day also experience the joy of a living Jesus who appears behind the locked doors of their hearts. I pray that Japan may one day be a country full of empty tombs!