Jesus had been killed and buried. His followers had given up everything to follow him, and just like that he was gone. The day Jesus was crucified was the darkest day of their lives, and they had absolutely no idea what to do in the wake of it.
And then it got worse. They went to Jesus’ tomb on the third day, and he was gone. Not only had their Lord been killed, but now something had happened to his body.
All Mary could do was sit at the empty tomb crying because Jesus was gone.
The disciples locked themselves in a room because they were so scared of what might happen to them.
All of them were so overtaken by their circumstances and the emotions that came from them, that they had absolutely no hope whatsoever. And they had no idea what to do or where to turn.
All they knew was that Jesus was gone, and the very last thing any of them expected was for him to show up.
But he did.
He showed up at the tomb with Mary.
He showed up in the locked room with the disciples.
He showed up in the locked room again when Thomas was there.
Jesus was alive, and that completely changed their attitude and outlook. It makes me wonder how differently they would’ve handled Jesus’ death and burial had they known what was going to happen on the third day. How would they have approached those three days if they had done so fully expecting Jesus to show up instead of feeling completely hopeless because he was gone?
Expecting Jesus to show up would have changed everything for them. But, to be fair, they were living pre-resurrection, so how could they have possibly expected that?
I, on the other hand, don’t have that excuse. I live in the hope of the resurrection, not the despair of the cross. But, I’m just as guilty of this as his disciples were. In fact, I’m knee-deep in it right now.
I’ve really been struggling with some things lately. I’ve been battling feelings of insecurity and insignificance. I’ve been feeling a lack of purpose. And I’ve felt pretty isolated in this because these kinds of weaknesses are just not things I like to admit or talk about.
But, my biggest mistake is that I’ve taken my eyes off the cross. I’ve become Mary, sitting next to the empty tomb feeling so sad and so distraught that I can’t even recognize that Jesus is right there next to me.
I’ve become the disciples, locked away from the world feeling so overcome with fear that I don’t even know what do.
I’ve stopped expecting Jesus to show up.
I’m approaching these struggles without much hope of them going away rather than approaching them with complete hope and confidence that Jesus does hear me and will show up.
This changes today.
It doesn’t matter what I’m going through. It doesn’t matter how I feel about what I’m going through. What matters is that Jesus is King, he is on the throne, and he WILL show up.
And I’m so thankful that he reminded me of this today.
Expect Jesus to show up.