A Story of the Resurrection from the Eyes of Peter
It is morning and I have been up all night thinking and praying, yelling and crying, trying to figure out just what went wrong. What happened? Jesus wasn’t supposed to die. I know He talked about it before a few times. He said that the temple would be torn down and in three days He would rebuild it. He said he would die. But, what is up with that? He was supposed to be the Messiah that was prophesied. He was supposed to be the one who would free us from oppression. How can He do that if He is dead? How can He do it from the grave? I walked with him for three years. I saw how He healed the blind man. I saw how He made the lame to walk. I even saw Him bring a couple of people back to life. Why did he have to die? Why wouldn’t He let me protect Him? John and I had swords. He stopped us. He even got upset with me when I cut off that soldier’s ear.
I hurt so bad. He is not here any more. Part of me feels like I have been betrayed. I spent three years walking around with this man when I could have been out working and supporting my family. The greatest hurt of all is remembering His look when His prediction came true that I would deny Him. Oh man, the look of hurt in His eyes was horrible. It would have been easier if He would have looked at me as if to say I told you so. But He did not do that. He would not do that. He could not do that. He looked at me with a look of sadness, probably as much for me as for Him.
Things have changed. We were once walking boldly with the master, now we are hiding out in fear for our lives because we walked with Him. Once there were twelve of us. Now only eleven. I can understand why Judas would kill himself for what he had done. I wanted to do the same thing after I denied Him. Either kill myself or crawl back under the rock from where I had come. I had trouble enough living with what I had done. The guilt had to have been unbearable for him. Poor guy. All I can do is pray that if Jesus really is the Savior, if He really was the son of God, that He would love Judas enough to forgive him and take him to paradise like he told the thief on the cross next to Him He would.
Oh I shudder just thinking about what happened. It was horrible watching Him suffer on that cross. It was all I could do not to try to knock that cross over and take Him down. It did not have to happen like that. He could have called His Father and had Him send His angels down to get Him off that cross. But no! He died instead.
There is someone at the door. I am afraid to open it for fear it would be soldiers to take us all away. I called out for them to identify themselves. It was Mary. She is talking crazy. Something about someone rolling the stone away from the opening of the tomb and stealing Jesus body. There is no way. John and I looked at each other and then without saying anything we broke into a dead run toward the tomb. Surely Mary wasn’t serious. Surely no one would steal the body. John was younger and in better shape than me. He got there before I did. We found the stone rolled away and the body gone just like Mary said. How could it happen? That was a heavy stone and there were guards posted at the tomb. How could anyone have stolen His body? The Sanhedrin had made sure there was no way this could happen and yet with my own eyes I could see the tomb was empty.
Maybe the earthquake earlier had something to do with this. Well, that might explain how the stone got moved but not the body. All that was left were the linen clothes that His body had been wrapped in. John thought that Jesus had indeed been resurrected just as Jesus said He would. But, I was still reluctant to believe. There had to be a logical explanation. Where were the guards?
I don’t understand. I am so confused. Why would anyone want to steal His body? How could they have done it with the tomb so heavily guarded? Where was His body? Who had it? Mary said that an angel had appeared to her and said “Do not be afraid for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.” The angel began. “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matt 28:5-6) Then she said the angel sent her to us to give us that message. That Jesus would be in Galilee where we would meet Him. She even said that as she and the other women were coming to tell us, Jesus Himself met them and gave them the message that we were to meet Him in Galilee.
It was so confusing around here. So many people talking. Already there is a rumor out that we had stolen the body and the Roman guards were actually admitting that they had fallen asleep while on watch. If this were true why were they not being punished? Why was no disciplinary action being taken?
Late tonight our dinner of broiled fish was interrupted not once but twice. The first interruption was when Cleophos and his wife came over to relate to us what happened to them when they went to return to Emmaus. The two of them had been followers of Christ as well. There was nothing left in Jerusalem so they were returning home to Emmaus. There were discussing the events of the day. They were wondering how all the events fit together. They had heard that Jesus’ body had been stolen and like me were wondering who had stolen it. Where had it gone? Maybe if they could figure out who, then they could figure out where they had hidden the body. What about Mary’s report of what she had seen. Mary was not a hysterical woman by nature, but then again she had never before witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus who was a very close and dear friend. As they continued to walk and talk about the morning and the weekend’s events, a stranger came up to them. It was strange for a person to go up to another stranger and begin a conversation with someone they had not met. What they found even more strange was this person apparently was unaware of all that was and had happened in Jerusalem. He asked them “What kind of conversation is this that you are having with each other as you walk and are sad.: (Luke 24:17) So they reviewed with Him the events that had happened in Jerusalem. They talked about the crucifixion and the events that surrounded that event. They sighed with resignation in their voices as they told about the hopes that they had had that he was going to be the one who was the redeemer of Israel. (Luke 24:21) They told Him about the woman reporting that she had seen an angel and said that Jesus was indeed alive. They knew this could not be so. They watched the crucifixion. They watched in horror as the Roman soldiers drove the nails into his hands and feet. They watched and listened to Him as He tried to talk on the cross. They heard Him say “It is finished” and give up His spirit. They saw the soldier as he plunged his sword into Jesus’ side and watched blood and water pour out of Him. They knew He was dead. There was no doubt in their minds. Now people are saying He is alive. As they told the story to the man He did not get discouraged. He said to them “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26) Then He began to recite Old Testament scriptures which would show that the events that had taken place should have happened. They should have been expected. The more He talked the more everything seemed to make sense and take on a new meaning. The talk was so interesting that before they knew it they were home and the man turned to leave them and continue on His journey. He had made such an impact on their lives. He had encouraged them so much that they figured that the least they could do was invite Him in for a bite to eat before He continued on His journey. They convinced Him to have dinner and spend the night with them. They quickly prepared dinner and sat down to eat. As the man “took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.: (Luke 24:30) they all of a sudden understood. They realized that this man was Jesus Himself. About the time they came to that realization He “vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:31)
They decided that even though the hour was late they would come and tell us what had happened to them. Just as they were completing their story Jesus appeared in the room. It was not humanly possible for Him to have gotten in. We had bolted the doors and windows because of our fear that we too would be arrested. Yet, here He was. He had just walked through a closed door. You cannot possibly imagine the joy and elation that I felt as my heart raced a mile a minute from the sheer joy of His presence. Here He was in all of His glory. He showed us the scars on His hands, feet and side. Then I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was indeed Him. He had risen just as He said He would. I wished I would have believed when John believed. But you know this slow, stubborn, thick-headed fisherman. I had to have proof. And proof I got. It was great to have Him back with us again. Now we could claim our victory and gain our independence from Rome. That was not to be. After we had shared our fish and some honeycomb together He let us know what the game plan was to be and what role we would have in it. He gave us a new commission “Peace to You! As the Father has sent Me. I also send you,” (John 20:21) He breathed into us new life and urged us to receive the Holy Spirit. He told us how important we were to Him and to His ministry. He also told us how important it was for us to be faithful in completing our new commission. “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:23) Wow, what an awesome responsibility. A lot of the responsibility of others belief in Jesus and this forgiveness of their sins rests upon our shoulders. Those whom we tell are forgiven are, but, if we failed to tell them they would remain in bondage of that sin for eternity. I am not sure I am worthy of that kind of responsibility. But if my Lord can be raised from the dead, I will to the best of my ability complete this new commission and wait in joyful hope for the coming of my savior, Jesus Christ, to take me to paradise with Him.
© Copyright2001 Lisa Phillips All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author
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