What a day!
As we start this first week of Easter, the Gospel readings of the first four days all take place on the day of the Resurrection. I was so surprised when I discovered that these stories all took place within hours of each other. What an incredible day!
Here's the timeline:
Sunday morning, a whole bunch of Marys go to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body. Instead, they find the stone rolled away and Jesus gone.
Jesus appears and tells them to "go tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see me."
Later that same day, two disciples are walking out of Jerusalem, knowing that Jesus' body is gone and the women reported seeing Him. (There's a whole other discussion here about giving up way too early, but I'll save that for another post.) Jesus walks with them, explains everything, and they realize it is Jesus as they are eating with Him in Emmaus.
They run back immediately, and as they are telling their story to the disciples, Jesus walks through the locked door saying, "Peace be with you... Look at my hands and feet."
This was an incredible day, filled with appearances and understanding. Filled with joy, wonder, and disbelief. Yes, disbelief.
The disciples walking to Emmaus hear the women and Peter report that they have seen Jesus, but they don't believe them. They can't see past the crucifixion. When they return, the disciples don't believe their story. They can't see beyond their fear.
Yet in the midst of this disbelief, everything melts away as soon as they see Jesus. In Emmaus, the disciples say, "Weren't our hearts burning within us?" Mary Magdalene clings to Him when she realizes who He is.
It can be hard to understand and believe someone else's experience. It can be difficult to trust that something so incredible is true. I think it's consoling to see that even those closest to Jesus had a hard time understanding what was happening right in front of their eyes.
The blessing is that we don't have to figure it out on our own. We can listen to the experiences of others, we share our own faith experiences, and we have a place where all of that is connected to the stories of the people who were there at the beginning.
Has someone told you their story? Maybe it's time to listen.
Have you shared your story? Maybe it's time to tell.