I wonder what it was like for the disciples from Friday (crucifixion Day) to Sunday morning.
I’m sure pain, agony, and heartache we can’t even begin to imagine. First, their Beloved Rabbi, their teacher, died the most agonizing and shameful death possible, and now, because of that death, they couldn’t apologize for deserting Him when, in His flesh, He may have needed them the most.
You see, the relationship between a disciple and his teacher was supposed to be closer than that of a son to his father. It was stated that if both your father and your Rabbi were kidnapped and held for ransom you were to ransom your Rabbi first. Not because they held parents in such low regard but this was to show how high a regard they had for their teachers of Scripture.
As a disciple it was understood that you were to stand with your Rabbi through anything and everything; to support, encourage, defend, protect and even, if needed, die with him. So when Jesus told His disciples, “You’re all going to leave me this night” you can appreciate their total denial and shock. No disciple would ever consider leaving his teacher!
But in the garden that’s exactly what they did. The soldiers came, they stood around in shock and then turned and fled. They abandoned, hurt, and shamed their beloved teacher. And Peter took it one step farther by claiming that He didn’t even know Jesus three different times afterward.
The heartache, shame, humiliation and pain the disciples must have felt would have been overwhelming. And then suddenly Jesus was dead and they couldn’t make it right. They couldn’t ask for forgiveness. They couldn’t say they were sorry for the disappointment and hurt they caused him Him, that they had brought shame on Him. He’s buried; it’s done. They would have to live with this action for the rest of their lives.
But God wasn’t done with this motley crew and on the first day of the week Jesus, fully alive, met two women and comforted them first. But then He said, “Go tell My brothers I’m coming to see them too.” The disciples may have disowned Jesus, but He would never disown them. And Jesus went to His disciples and restored them.
The resurrected Jesus went to those who abandoned, deserted and shamed Him because He forgave them and they were still His!
Believer, if you are celebrating Communion this Sunday may you not allow any guilt or shame of a past sin that has been forgiven hold you back. You may have denied and disowned your Savior but He has never denied or disowned you. You have been forgiven! You are part of the body of Christ! Rise up, let Jesus restore you, and then praise His holy Name! He’s alive and we’re forgiven! Heaven’s gates are opened wide!