On Friday, Jesus was crucified. On Saturday, Jesus was silent. On Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead.
On Monday, I got up early to take my car to the body shop because someone had thrown a brick through my window.
This is pretty much how our faith journeys go — spiritual highs and earthly lows. Fri-yays and Mon-days. Extraordinaries and ordinaries. Empty tombs and dooms and glooms.
Godly miracles smack dab in the middle of daily life.
Early on Sunday morning, the day of the Resurrection, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and discovered that the stone had been rolled away (John 20:1). Peter and John raced to see for themselves. They realized Mary wasn’t crazy after all. The tomb was empty. Jesus’ body was not there. Verse 10: “Then they went home.”
What do you do when you realize that all of the Scriptures have been fulfilled? That everything your bestie – who just happens to be the Son of God – has been telling you for the past three years was not a delusion or illusion or another one of his confusing parables but is real life?
What do you do when you can’t cry over Jesus’ dead body because it’s not there and it’s not dead and no one saw which way he went?
Apparently, you go home. You go home because tomorrow is Monday and Monday means going to work, getting your car fixed, drinking an extra cup of coffee because, well … Monday.
Peter and Andrew, James and John, they had fishing to do. Matthew had taxes to collect.
Two of Jesus’ followers lived in a town called Emmaus, seven miles away from Jerusalem where the crucifixion had taken place (Luke 24:13). Because everyone else was heading home so they could get up and go to work on Monday, these two followers were doing the same.
They were talking about everything that had taken place – the crucifixion, the Sabbath, the empty tomb – when someone fell into step beside them and asked what they were talking about (spoiler alert: it was Jesus, they just didn’t know it yet).
“Do you live under a rock?” they asked. You didn’t need a Twitter account to have heard … or seen … what had taken place over the past three days.
They were sad when they told him that they “had hoped [Jesus] was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel” (Luke 24:21). They had hope, but then their hope was gone. Their hope was gone when it didn’t go the way they expected.
Yes, the tomb was empty, but the Savior of the world was supposed to rule and reign in majestic glory. He was supposed to wear a G.O.A.T. sash because he was the “Greatest Of All Time”, not die a criminal’s death under a hand-painted sign declaring him “King of the Jews”.
Jesus had just risen from the dead, yet they were sad, depressed, despondent, singing Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” as they walked home so they could get up and go to work on Monday morning.
But Jesus walked with them.
He didn’t leave them in their self-pity. He didn’t give them up as lost causes. He didn’t get mad that they were going home. He didn’t abandon them because they didn’t recognize him.
He walked with them. He walked all seven miles with them.
He walked them all the way home.
Jesus also walks with us. He walks with us in our sadness and disappointment. He walks with us when life doesn’t go according to plan. He walks with us in our Sunday highs and our Monday lows. He walks with us even when we don’t recognize him falling into step beside us.
He never gets tired of walking with us.
He is walking us all the way home.
Katie Ubry-Terrell is a member of the Religious Society of Friends/Quakers and serves as Coordinator for the Wilmington Yearly Meeting.
This weekly column is provided to the News Journal on a monthly rotation basis by members of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association.