Evening was beginning to settle upon Jerusalem and surrounds.  The sun was declining along the skyline.  The disciples had heard Mary’s report of Jesus’ body missing.  They had heard Peter and John’s report of the empty tomb.  They had even heard Mary’s story that Jesus was alive and that she had spoken with him and hugged his feet.  But the disciples were frozen in fear.  They made no effort to move toward Galilee as Jesus had told Mary to encourage them to do.

          Again, this is a such a genuine scene.  Often, we are more comfortable with the misery we know than the uncertain and fear of moving from that spot.  The disciples feared moving forward to Galilee to see if Mary’s wonderful story was true.  They were more concerned with avoiding the Jews believing, fearing, the Jews would do to them what had been done to Jesus.  I think we can relate well to the disciples’ paralysis of fear.

          But amid this story of fear comes good news.  Jesus does not meet us where we pretend to be.  Jesus meets us where we are.  Jesus said he would meet the disciples in Galilee, but the disciples could not make themselves move.  So, Jesus met them where they were in Jerusalem, behind a locked door, keeping quiet in their fear.

          The Gospel of John said, 19b Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19b-20).  Jesus was alive.

          The resurrection story is simple in certain ways, or at least it presents simple choices.  We are left decide who has the real power on this earth?  Soldiers like those guarding the tomb or angels seated upon the stone rolled from the tomb?  Who has the real power?  The political elite who try to silence God and place warning labels to seal His word from being seen like Pilate did with Jesus tomb?  Or is the real power held by humble women, impetuous men, and thoughtful disciples who seek Christ?  Whoever you allow to control your life and your view of life has the real power over you. Will that be those who cause Christians to fear being Christians or will be Christ who meets us in our fear and says to us, “Peace be with you!” 

This day, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Day, we celebrate with joy that the power and source of our strength this day and for all days including eternity comes from knowing Jesus’ tomb is empty.  It brings joy and real power to our lives because that empty tomb says to us: “Christ is risen, risen indeed!”