“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”John 20:19
Can you imagine what it would be like to be the disciples before, during, and immediately after the death of Christ? It is easy to criticize the disciples for not listening to what Jesus had told them, not remembering His promise of the resurrection. But they did not understand what He had meant.
What must it have been like! To see Jesus Christ lying on the ground, dead. Just like any other funeral, there is a sobering, heart-wrenching reality when the casket is closed and lowered into the ground. No one ever expects that the person will come back; there is a finality about a burial service.
The old spiritual says in the second verse, “Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?” Think of what it would have been like to be there at that time. All that they could see was the stark reality: Jesus was gone. The One they believed to be God was seemingly defeated by death.
What if someone was able to show you proof that what you believed about God was false? Would it shake your faith? It does happen, or at least, there seems to be proof. Did it ever seem like God did not answer your prayer? Did you ever believe that God would do something, and He didn’t do it?
It is hard to understand just what the disciples were thinking and feeling because we know the end of the story. If there was ever a time that circumstances should make someone feel hopeless, that was it.
Praise God, we do know the end! The Lord is omnipotent, sovereign, almighty. Death could never defeat Him! His purpose was never swayed: He knew exactly what He was doing.
“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”Romans 4:25
He had the absolute best planned for the disciples (and the rest of the world) by what seemed like the greatest defeat. The Lord knew what He was doing, though they did not understand. He couldn’t not rise again because it was all a part of of His plan.
This same God is in control of our lives. No matter how impossible the circumstances, we serve the God Who delights to do the impossible. At the moment when man would say we have no hope, this is when the Lord is preparing to show Himself strong. Why does He work in this way? For His glory and our good - always.
So what do we do when all seems hopeless? We must think of Him Who is a promise-keeping God. He is immutable. He cannot change. We can be certain that He will work on our behalf. If we fix our eyes on Him, we will find hope in the bleakest of situations.