THE FIFTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN
The acknowledgement came slowly and with much hesitation, but the sequestered disciples finally said it: The Lord is risen.” Indeed (Lk. 24:34). This from Jesus hardcore survivors. Roughly ten dozen of them–if anyone is counting. Unlike other rabbinic clusters, this one includes women right alongside the men. To Jesus they all are the same, but most males in the company will die before they share his thinking on this point.
So here they are this Sunday morning, 120 men and women waiting together for God knows what. The 120 certainly do not know what. Nor know that they will still be waiting six weeks from now. But they do know something is afoot today. Something is clearly different. Since early this morning, there have been a rash of reports claiming Jesus is no longer dead. First were their own women. They went to the tomb to put out spices, but found the tomb empty. Also angels. Angels told them Jesus was alive. That’s what the women said. Right. No wonder that women were barred from giving testimony at trial. The triviality and rashness of their sex, the courts explained. Still, some of the men went to check it out. They saw no angels, of course, but they did say the tomb was empty (Lk. 24:24). Odd.
Later that day, Simon Peter, one of Jesus inner circle, confirms the empty tomb (Luke 24:34). Then two group-members return from a day-hike to Emmaus, reporting an encounter with a mysterious stranger. He ate with them, they say, and explained messianic scriptures. Warmed their hearts, he did. The stranger blessed the bread at table, as they had often seen Jesus do, then he disappeared. That’s when they know that the stranger was Jesus himself (Lk. 24:36-45). The hikers finish their story and Jesus suddenly is right there with the assembled disciple-group. They disbelieve for joy, and they wonder. Jesus comforts them, commissions them, and tells them to wait for the Spirit who will bring them power (Lk. 24:36-52). With this, Easter draws to an end. Pentecost is around the corner.