Easter celebrations abound. Their nature, which for good reason is joyous, can cause us to forget the facts. The dawn of that third day was very unsettled. It was so unsettled that the disciples were in hiding. They had reason to fear for their lives. They were also stricken with the reality of a gruesome death in the One whom they had trusted. They were grieving. I know a little taste of that kind of grief. The women who had faithfully followed Jesus were in utter distress and grief. One of them is recorded as being near the tomb weeping. I know a little bit of that level of distress.
At the same time, life was going on. The leadership of the day was satisfied that Jesus was dead, so the movement was killed at its core. Their envious acts, including the murder of the One whom they considered a troublemaker and threat to their existence, were a matter of record. The first day of the work week was just about to begin. Believers were in disarray and smothered in a mixture of emotions and disbelief. All of these things are a matter of record in the Gospels if you read the end of each one.
But our salvation and theirs did not depend on unsettled hearts and our weaknesses. As a matter of fact, the most common word in the scenes of that morning is “fear.” How gracious and steadfast of Almighty God to make our salvation sure by His own actions. If it had been dependent on the disciples or any of us, it would have been an utter disaster.
The firmness and calmness of the angelic appearances, followed by the appearances and speaking of the risen Christ were in complete contrast to his followers. It took some time, several appearances, and repeated instruction from the One who was dead but was now alive to help the his followers recover from the shock and dismay of what had happened only three days earlier.
So it is with us. It takes the Counselor to work in our circumstances and wayward ways to change us from the inside. The outside turmoil and the inside distresses, however, will not prevail if we put our trust in the Risen Lord. When you get dressed and visit some Easter event that seems so organized and pretty and peaceful, remember how it began that morning, that first day, and those first weeks. Take note of the firm loving patience of our God, who is utterly and completely familiar with our frail and sinful state. Your hope in Him is sure because He never flinched until the whole matter was complete, in accordance with the Father’s will.
Thus, our salvation is sure.