All disciples were gathered together trying to make sense of the strange happenings among them. People were reporting visions of angels and sightings of the Lord who had just died. Right then he stood among them. They were understandably startled and frightened because a seemingly dead person was talking to them. We who have come from Western cultures have grown up with the resurrection story that makes sense of this event, but the disciples did not have it in their minds. So they believed the most reasonable explanation that Jesus was a ghost. Then when he showed them the wounds on his body and they flipped out in the positive direction, their minds still could not comprehend it and they were overcome with “joy and amazement”. What a week they must have had! Not quite the little bunnies and eggs that our culture tends to focus on. Their experiences ranged from terror, grief and fright, turning to incredible joy and amazement beyond their comprehension.
In the meantime Jesus needed to care for his beaten, starved body so he ate some fish. Then he returned to his task of teaching them, starting with the story of his death and resurrection rooted in the Scriptures. Finally they could understand a narrative that made sense of this incredible experience.
Indeed the Easter story is the story that beats all others. No other event on earth has ever eclipsed the utterly amazing transformation from death to life of Jesus that is given to any sinners who call on his name. What were the results? They worshiped Jesus with great joy and returning to the centre of their religion (Jerusalem) they stayed at the place of God’s presence (the temple) praising God continually. This is the correct response to the first Easter. Consider Paul’s prayer for us in Ephesians 3:18, “[you] may have power….to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge”
A prayer: “Lord, may we too understand what you are doing in our midst even when it is too amazing or unexpected for us alone to grasp.”