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The Worst Three Days

In the past, I've been pretty quick to judge the disciples for their lack of faith throughout the gospels. I mean, as Christians of today, we haven't seen Jesus in the flesh; we haven't witnessed his miracles or looked into his eyes or heard his voice speak our names, but the disciples had. Their relationship with Christ was tangible, visible, measurable. And yet, they still despaired and lost hope.

Take the crucifixion for example. Jesus had warned the disciples on more than one occasion of his coming death and resurrection. They should have seen it coming, should have had hope to sustain them through the days in which Jesus was in the grave. But the gospels show a picture of the disciples hiding in a locked room, afraid and grieving the loss of their Messiah. Didn't they get it? Didn't they have faith?

It's so easy to point out their fear and judge them for their weakness—after all, they had seen Jesus, and should have had far more faith than we do, right? But this Easter I was struck by something new:

For those few days in the tomb, the disciples didn't have Jesus Christ.

We may not have seen Christ face to face, but we have never been without him. We have never been forced to face a single trial in his absence. We have never breathed a prayer to him only to realize he wasn't there listening. We're often quick to jump on the disciples' privilege, but aren't we privileged as well? Unlike the disciples, we have never known what it feels like not to have Jesus accessible at all times, and I for one cannot imagine how painful that would be. To be robbed of the Messiah, a gaping hole left in your life that the Son of God had once physically, visibly filled.

And though it was only three days, those three days must have felt like a lifetime. How blessed are we that, praise the Lord, we will never have to experience that trial?

"And be sure of this," said Jesus after the resurrection, to the disciples and to us, "I am with you always: even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

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