Being a Christian after Jesus died.
Imagine living with someone for three years, literally spending every day, every minute with him. All the while you believe he is destined to be your people’s greatest leader of all time. It’s only a matter of months, maybe days, before he acts. Then no one will doubt that this is what we all have waited for. Finally, the Messiah has come. And you’ve had front row seats since the beginning. You’re one of the first twelve. You’re chosen. And what have you been through? You’ve seen people that were blind, now able to see. Crippled, then healed. You even saw someone who was dead come walking out of his tomb. So there is no doubt that when my man wants to lay down the lumber, it is gonna be epic.
And this is precisely what the disciples thought as Jesus entered Jerusalem that day almost two thousand years ago. The time had come. Finally. But it was not going to go down the way they had hoped. Not even close. Where the disciples were all about the short term in Jerusalem, Jesus was all about the long term of the entire world. So, when Jesus was crucified, died and laid to rest, their entire world was rocked hard. They must have thought, ‘What just happened?’, ‘Where did it go wrong?’ They didn’t know. But when Jesus appeared to them 3 days later, things began to get right again. Spending the next 40 days with them, guiding them to what the truth was, Jesus laid the foundation for the start of his church.
That being said, after Jesus left, life for the disciples was high on the suck factor. Now they were on their own. Which might have been okay, except the entire city of Jerusalem was searching for the body of Jesus. The Jews and the Romans had a stake in this game, and they were not going to leave any stone unturned in order to find out what happened. Remember, these early Christians didn’t have a “church”. They met in somebody’s home. You didn’t brag in the open about your faith. People were getting killed if they admitted they were a follower of Christ. You had to keep your head on a swivel when you went out the front door. And this ultimately led to the dispersion of these men. With the addition of Paul, the first missionaries were sent out to spread the Word. And today there are 6 billion people who believe as those first men did.
I find myself wondering what I would have done in if I was in their shoes? When the whole city was on lockdown, searching for Jesus, what would my character have been like? The activity after Jesus’ death in Jerusalem couldn’t have gone on for simply a day or so. It had to have lasted months, maybe years.
Being a Christian is easy compared to those days. What kind of man would I be if we returned to that type of persecution? I don’t think we will have to wait long to find out.