Never had there been a more demoralized group of believers than that tiny band of followers after Jesus' crucifixion. Only the women were brave enough to mourn him in public. The men were all in hiding--fearful that the Roman soldiers would next come for them. They were obviously stunned by the sudden turn of events. In one week's time they had seen their leader go from being cheered on his entrance into Jerusalem to being crucified between two thieves. They said in Luke 24:21, "We hoped that he was the One to redeem Israel..." But now he was dead and so were their dreams.
We can understand that. We too have difficulty accepting the death of a loved one. We can appreciate the feelings of a little girl who wrote a letter to God. It went like this: "Dear God,
"Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you just keep the ones you've got now?"
We wish God did work like that. But God doesn't. The undertakers of this world all signed their letters, "Eventually yours."
We don't deal with death very well and neither did those early disciples. They were disappointed, discouraged, defeated on that first Easter morning. It would be difficult to imagine them mounting any kind of crusade at this point in their lives--much less, turning the world upside down. However, Jesus comes to them and says, "Peace be with you."
Where do we turn when we feel down?