If you have lived long enough, you have had a death in your family. The grief is intensified by the closeness of the relationship. The closer the tie, the stronger the grief and the deeper the loss. I have watched people process their grief in many ways. Some never quite process it at all. It hits them so strongly that years later they are still paralyzed by the grief. Others process the grief and move on with healthy responses. It does not mean they quit caring or quit grieving. It just means they have handled it to the point that the grief comes in memories, fragrances, foods, sayings, and events. It is those triggers of memory that bring the twinge, the tear.
We all have them. The more close ones you lose; the more opportunity for the triggering of memories. Even children that lose parents when they are young have those fleeting memories engraved in their minds and they continue to affect their lives as adults.
But think with me as to the disciples at the trials and crucifixion of Jesus. There was a lot of trust given to Jesus. They had traveled with him for three years. Hundreds, if not thousands, had come to believe Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus being the Messiah would have promised the ascendency of Israel to world rulership and life evermore. That is a tall order and a tremendous amount of trust and faith given to him. The things Jesus said to them about going to Jerusalem and dying just did not register or ring true to their hopes and expectations. But in one night, the fortunes of their hopes were dashed rapidly and out of control for them. I do not blame them. His trials were swift and out of their control or ability to help.
In a matter of hours, Jesus was hanging on a cross. In moments he was gone. He was buried before Sundown. In less than 24 hours it was over. No one was waiting at the tomb. Their hopes and aspirations were dashed. The question of who would sit at his right and left hand of Jesus seemed silly now. I am sure many of them would have considered themselves fools to have believed. The grief was real and deep. Questions would have been numerous. Why? Why? Why? They gathered, hiding from the Jews, fellow religious countrymen who were riotously happy with their defeat of this Messiah guy.
The disciples would have be grieving the loss of Jesus, deeply. The hours following the death of a loved one are difficult, painful, depressing, hopeless many times. Particularly, the death of Jesus was deeper in its grief because Jesus carried such a message of hope and power and kingdom. This love was beyond a good friend; it was the death of a movement.
Three days they would have been in the dumps, wondering, ‘what do I do now.” Plans were being laid as to how to live from here on. The three days were the same as the days following the death of a loved one and maybe more intense. We know the history; so we rarely identify with the disciples because we know what is coming. Resurrection. They did not. When Jesus overcame death, they are amazed, struck with doubt, but as the reality came, life returned to the message and the plans of despair were replaced with the zeal of the Living Savior. The message was true, is true, and forever true. He is alive!