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Happy Pandemic Easter!

April 12, 2020

Given the social distancing necessary for combating COVID-19 pandemic, this Easter will undoubtedly find most church buildings empty– a scenario that is not completely unheard of.

You know, the first Easter was not one of filled chuches.

On the first Easter, there was no celebration. The previous Friday, one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot, sold Jesus out to the religious authorites, who chose to illegally arrest Jesus at night for fear of public reaction. The remaining eleven of his inner circle were scattered, and Peter, the one who boasted that he would never deny Jesus, did so three times before dawn of Saturday morning– just like Jesus told Peter he would.

Jesus’ inner circle didn’t know what hit them. It isn’t as though Jesus kept his imminent betrayal and death a secret– they just couldn’t hear it because they were already convinced that Jesus intended to ride his popularity into the political arena and become an earthly king, end of story. They even fought among themselves concerning who was greatest among them. Why, the mother of two of that inner circle, James and John, even asked Jesus to guarantee her sons top positions in his kingdom– which really miffed the others.

So, when Jesus was publicly and brutally put to death, his inner circle was stunned.

They were not quick to catch on to the “kingdom not of this world” and its resurrection component.

No one among Jesus’ followers expected resurrection, even though Jesus told them to expect it. After Jesus death, and following observance of the Sabbath, one of the women closest to Jesus, Mary Magdalene, went to properly prepare his body for burial, except there was no body. She assumed the body had been stolen and, finding Peter and John, told them Jesus’ body was missing.

Peter and John entered the tomb, saw the grave clothes laying there and the head cloth neatly folded (a cultural clue that the master intends to return to the table), and they still didn’t get it. So they went home.

So, after revealing himself first to Mary Magdalene, Jesus went to find his inner circle. And where were they?

That Sunday evening, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them!

Meeting behind locked doors, fearful of the same Jewish leaders who had put Jesus to death.

They were afraid, so Jesus went to find them.

Coronavirus is scary. Impacted by multifaceted constriction, turmoil, and loss, multitudes worldwide are behind closed doors, afraid.

On this Easter Sunday, know that Jesus is still in the business of finding us.

Happy Easter.

emptytomb

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One Comment
  1. Dan Wever permalink

    Thank you!dw

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