Most of us have heard the Easter story so many multiples of times that there is no way we can be shocked like those close to him that ﬁrst Easter.
In spite of everything the disciples had seen Jesus do from healing the sick to feeding a hungry crowd in spite of what they heard Jesus say about how he will be killed and how on the third day he would be raised. Not one of the disciples expected to see him alive. Not one of them had any hope.
Where were the macho men who had followed Jesus for three years? Hiding, in fear for their lives. Their faith and their dreams crushed.
It was the women who went to the tomb that Sunday morning. They didn’t go to see if Jesus had risen. They went to the graveyard to ﬁnish the work of burying him.
The women see someone — an angel — who tells them Jesus has been raised. He tells them to go out and tell the others. Tell them soon they will see Jesus themselves. The story ends with them running away in panic, terrorized by what they had seen. Dead men stay dead.
No one was expecting resurrection. Old Testament prophecies of the resurrection. Jesus’ own teaching. The disciples just plain missed it. They only got it after they saw Jesus alive again.
The very Word of God became alive and signiﬁcant only after they had seen the risen Christ.
The written Word becomes really alive for us only after we meet the living Jesus. Otherwise, it’s just an old book covered with dust lying on a bookshelf underneath the LL Bean catalog and grocery ads.
The old book is a book of don’t do this and don’t do that until we meet the one who says – hey you — do come and follow me.
They were not expecting resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection, or their own. That’s clear from this story. What about you?