They were confused, perplexed and devastated. They had been through the horrors of a public execution, the ongoing threat to their own safety and the uncertainty of their futures. Now the two of them were setting out on a day-long trip to leave that town of horror and head toward home, about 7 miles away. There they should be out of the fray, safe from the threat of arrest, and in a place where they could begin rebuilding their lives. Or, so they hoped.
As they walked, they tried to process all the events of the situation they had just endured.
They kicked up dust as they went, and as they traveled another man on the road joined their company. He was drawn into their conversation, as it had an intensity that was hard to ignore. The man, walking with them, seemingly had not heard of recent occurrences. They enlightened him and lamented over and over, “We thought he was the one.” “We thought this was the guy.”
These travelers were not very far into the grieving process as it had only been a few days. But, they were deep into the beginnings of a heart-wrenching, fist-pounding grief. They must have been wondering if things could possibly have been different, talking over and over again the details of their experience, hurting for the loss of their Rabbi, Jesus and wondering what in the world was going to happen next.
What they did not know as they walked along that road was that their Rabbi had been raised up. His rising had completely redefined the framework of their lives. From this point on, their community, that band of followers that had hung their hopes on this man Jesus, was a community in exile; going against the conventional grain, swimming against the current, swimming upstream!
July 8th thru the 13th, we will examine how the task of living in the shadow of an empty tomb, that our way of life; living the truth of the resurrection might place us in contrast to the prevailing values of our world. If we’re serious about swimming upstream, about following the script of Jesus, then we will quickly find ourselves in the company of those first disciples in exile.