A night’s sleep that did not come easy. How could it? Jerusalem had been in a rebellious uproar now for 3 days since the Nazarene was arrested in Gethsemane just after midnight early Friday morning. It was now Sunday, the day after the Sabbath, 1 p.m. Seven hours earlier at 6 a.m. this morning, daylight began to appear through the windows of the house I lived in. Expecting quietness I heard the rustling of feet and saw some ladies running through the narrow streets outside. Where were they running so early in the morning, I thought to myself. I wanted to follow them ever so closely, out of curiosity, without being noticed. I did.
Following them we ran to the walls and gate of the city that leads out to the mount known as Calvary. Why there, I quizzically thought. Then, still following the women who were now joined by two men, one being that disciple leader who denied Jesus in the High Priest’s courtyard to avoid being caught—I believe his name is Peter—we made a sharp turn toward the walled cemetery containing the graves of the dead and the tomb of this Jewish Messiah. His tomb was brand new, never used before. The large stone which blocked entry to it had been miraculously rolled away, probably from the strong earthquake that struck Jerusalem at about 5 a.m. To my amazement, a male figure emitting the brightest light ever seen, was standing on the ledge next to the tomb. I withdrew somewhat out of both fear and nervousness, but remained close enough to hear what this angelic figure was saying to the women. “He’s not here”, I heard him say. “He is risen.” “Risen?”, I thought. Can’t be. He was dead and it’s been 3 days. But the two men went in to observe and on exiting affirmed to all, “Yes, indeed, the body’s gone, and the grave clothes are laying neatly and folded on the slab.”
The women and men left with haste and scattered. I ran, for sure. Who would believe this, about a dead body coming out of the grave alive. I sure wouldn’t, you can bet on that. I wasn’t alone; even that disciple leader had huge doubts. Many people have doubts. That Peter was sure weak in his commitment and doubtful in his convictions. I know some men and women like that. Weak! Doubting! Cursing! Full of promises, but little follow through.
Roman soldiers and Temple guards came out to were Jesus had been buried. They, too, were puzzled at the events. They started making up stories about how the body got stolen by the disciples, but no one was going to believe that line.
I then remembered the night before, when trying to go to sleep, I had that gnawing feeling in my gut that for some reason the world was going to be turned upside down today. Well, was it ever. Unbelievable!
That’s what Jesus has been doing to individuals. He turns life upside down and inside out. He disturbs secular priorities and leaves me and others restless and convicted. I must find Him if I can. I must know the certainty of who He is and why He’s here. If I could only see Him alive, that would settle it. The empty tomb was an indication He was alive but not proof in itself, no more than a body which is missing from the county morgue is proof that the body previously there was now up, alive, and walking. I’ll search for him. I hope I can find Him. If you’re out there, Dear Jesus, please…… let me find You.
AC Soud 4/16/2017