I used to dream of greatness. I believed that I would one day sit at Jesus’ right hand when he came into his kingdom. I was so naïve and foolish. I thought that was what he preached. Now, nothing made sense.
Peter and I were consoling one another. He had denied Jesus three times and I did not stand up for him at his arrest. I watched my master breathe his last breath.
I remember him saying, “You do not understand what I have done for you but soon you will.” What was I supposed to understand? All these thoughts and others raced through my head.
That’s when we heard Mary and the other women shouting at the tops of their lungs. It was a distraction from our sorrows. We dried our eyes quickly.
When we heard her say, “They have taken our Lord out of the tomb,” both Peter and I started running like we were launched out of King David’s slingshot. I outran Peter and got to the tomb first. As I was catching my breath and peeked inside Peter almost ran me over as he zipped into the tomb. Peter was often reckless. Have you heard about the time he got out of the boat in the middle of a storm? I must give you the details one day. It was brave and crazy at the same time. Bravery was something I wish I had more of back then. I’ve always admired Peter for his bravery.
After Peter finished investigating he left the empty tomb without even saying a word. Which was literally a first for Peter. He was usually the first to say something even if he had nothing to say.
I soon went inside the tomb and noticed how the burial linens looked to be carefully folded and the strips of cloth used to keep the mouth of the dead closed was neatly in its proper place. I was angry at the thought of someone taking my master’s body away. Now I was forced to morn him twice. I feared that I had lost him again. Yet I was also confused and bewildered. I thought to myself, “Who would have removed his linens and folded them? What enemy of Jesus would have been so neat and careful?”
That’s when a crazy thought crossed my mind. “What if no one stole his body but instead he walked out on his own. Maybe he was alive!”
Wait, I thought, “He really did die, didn’t he?” I was there with his mother at the cross and we watched him breathe his last breath. He most certainly was dead.
I wasn’t sure how and I couldn’t explain it to you at the time but something told me that he was no longer dead and he was alive!
When I met up with the other disciples I tried my best to share with them what I had seen and what I thought could be possible. Then Mary told us that she had actually seen Jesus and held him in her arms. As you can imagine it was a whole lot for everyone to take in. We argued amongst each other about what probably really happened to his body and what Mary actually saw. Thats not the only thing that hindered us believing Mary’s testimony. Any joy found the idea of him actually being alive was tempered by our fear of persecution. We thought that those that killed Jesus would try to do the same to us.
Then all of sudden, out of the middle of nowhere, there he was! Jesus was standing in the middle of the room. I know we locked those doors and I didn’t see him come through the window, but there he was – alive and in the flesh.
At first we thought him to be a ghost. That thought soon left me because he looked at me and he loved me. I felt the love I had felt from him before his death once again. Then he showed us his wounds. He spoke to us giving us his peace and then he breathed on us his Spirit.
Even though our whole world was turned upside-down on Friday it was now Sunday and I knew then that everything was going to be alright.
If I could go back to that weekend knowing what I know now, I, John an Apostle of Jesus Christ would deliver this message to my dear friends and fellow disciples.
“Do not be afraid. Jesus lives and love wins! The perfect love of Jesus drives out fear.”