Three days after the resurrection
April 11, 2018
As Jesus stated, he was in the grave for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:39-41; 16:21; 17:22-23; Luke 18:31-34; 24:1-7). Evil men had torn down his temple and he built it back in three days (John 2:18-22). It’s now been three days since Easter and I wondered what Jesus’ disciples were doing three days after his resurrection.
When Jesus was arrested, his disciples deserted him and fled, although, at least two of them went to his first trial (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-51; Luke 22:54; John 18:12-16; bookmark these passages, they’ll all be cited often). Some of his followers watched the crucifixion from a distance, but, generally, those were described as being women (Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41). Still, one account says it was all who knew him and another specifically mentions the disciple Jesus loved, which John called himself (Luke 23:48-49; John 19:25-27).
We’re not sure what the disciples did between Jesus’s death and resurrection, but there was one and likely two Sabbath days between his death and resurrection – a special Passover Sabbath and the regular Sabbath being the seventh day of the week (Leviticus 23:1-7; John 19:31-42; 20:1; Luke 23:50-56). We do know that the disciples obeyed God’s commands about the Sabbath and rested. We also know that after the resurrection, they feared the Jews and hid behind locked doors (John 20:19-23). They might’ve hidden since Jesus’ death thinking they would be next to die or just since the resurrection because a rumor was circulating that they’d stolen Jesus’ body (Acts 12:1-4; Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15). They were in the same house a week later, again with the doors locked (John 20:24-26; our preacher commented that Thomas really missed out by not attending that first Sunday evening church service). So, it’s possible that most of them had hidden since Jesus’ crucifixion.
While things are changing in the USA regarding our religious freedom as Christians, we don’t need to fear the kind of persecution Christians faced in the early church (1 Peter 1:3-9; 4:12-19). It’s likely that they continued hiding behind locked doors (or in the Roman catacombs) during their worship services long after the resurrection and establishment of the church due to ongoing persecution (Acts 2:1-47; 8:1-3; 9:1-26; 12:5-17). Whatever they faced, they were allowed to avoid the persecution by holding secret meetings and even to flee, but they weren’t to deny Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10;22-23; 32-33). They didn’t have to preach on the street corners, but they were expected to live noticeably different upright and godly lives that would be attractive so people might ask about the difference, thereby confessing Jesus (Titus 2:10-14; Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Peter 2:11-12; 3:13-17).
Does your life confess Christ or are you hiding your Christianity so well that nobody would ever know you were a Christian? We’re encouraged to live peaceful and quiet lives with a lot of freedom as Christians, but we’re not to use our Christian freedom as a cover-up for evil (1 Timothy 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 10-23-24; 1 Peter 2:16-17).
Leonard Lauriault writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]