Life based on John 20:19-31 Rev. Karen Goltz
If you heard that Jesus Christ appeared to
a group of people today, what would your reaction be? Would you panic? Would
you run? Would you hide in fear? Would you cry out in love, “My Lord and my
God?” If you didn’t simply dismiss the claim as a fantastic story, you would
most likely doubt. You would demand proof, and, if you were really open-minded,
you’d reserve judgment until you could be convinced.
The disciples had locked themselves in the
house. They’d heard just that morning that Jesus’ body was no longer in the
tomb. Mary Magdalene had come to tell them he had risen. But they didn’t
believe. They had their doubts. Peter and another disciple, traditionally
believed to be John, had gone and checked out reports that the body was missing.
Peter saw the empty tomb, but he couldn’t put it all together. John saw and
apparently believed. So, I imagine he went back and spent the rest of the day
trying to convince the other disciples that the empty tomb, the folded linen
cloths, and the head piece sitting by itself were all signs that Jesus had
Can you imagine the conversation that took
place during that day? They were too afraid of the Jews and the Romans to go
out and see, or look for Jesus, so they sat in the house sulking, praying,
arguing, discussing, pondering, and recalling the words of Jesus. I can imagine
that Mary was probably leading the conversation, maybe backed up by John, and
Peter was boldly trying to make sense of it. Mary had seen the risen Lord, had
spoken to him, John could believe and accept that, and Peter really wanted to.
The rest of them probably wanted to, too, but how could they possibly believe
something so crazy as a dead man rising and living again? They’d seen Jesus
die, and no matter how much they might wish otherwise, dead was dead.