Psalm 118:1–24; John 20:1–23; Colossians 3:1–12 (read online ⧉)
What a day!
Most of us have lost a loved one. It is hard. Sometimes we have been present when they died, sometimes we weren’t. How deep the ache depends on the relationship. Even with people we barely knew or lost touch with, there is still a feeling of loss when they die.
All of them were still in shock. The women had a (culturally assigned) task to do, and that was perfume Jesus’ body so that his body wouldn’t smell as bad as it decomposed (yes, it is that basic and gruesome). They had a task which, as hard as it was, provided something to do and help process their loss. The male disciples didn’t have that. They got to sit and stare at each other, with each one probably more at a loss than the others.
And then their whole world got turned upside down…again!
HE IS NOT HERE!
HE IS RISEN!
Shock. Joy. Shock. Disbelief.
And then…now what? What does this mean?
We often skip verses 19–23 on Easter. However, note the timing of the commissioning of the disciples. It’s still the Day of Resurrection. Still. The day is not yet over. Doing something is not in the future. It is now.
Peace, sent, receive, forgive. Not quite the normal order that we think of when it comes to the disciples being commissioned, and perhaps the order isn’t quite as important as when they were commissioned. Everything thing has just been turned upside down…go and do likewise!
This immediacy even translates later when Paul writes to the Colossians. He calls on them to forego their ways of old, because they are saved (and with Christ) now. It’s not that we wait to be saved, or wait to go tell others, when we have it down, when we’re perfect. There is no step beyond our salvation at which point we are free or commissioned to share about Jesus. At the point of our salvation, no later, are we to start talking about Jesus.
No matter how you feel about yourself, whether you are worthy of Christ (you aren’t), or whether he loves you fully (he does), go and talk about Jesus.
1) Why do you think Jesus commissioned the disciples so soon after his resurrection? In today’s world we often provide “space” to “process”. Jesus didn’t do that. What does that tell us?
2) Paul tells the Colossians that they are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of God they already have. Why is that an important concept and awareness for us?
3) Jesus was killed by Jew and Gentile. Jesus came to save both Jew and Gentile. If there really is a both/and, why did the church divide then, and why does it divide now?