Take courage. I am Here.

https://anchor.fm/vicki-ryder/episodes/Take-Courage–I-Am-Here-e1285ae

The day after Jesus’ crucifixion, His disciples (amazingly enough) did not remember that He had said after three days He would rise again (Mark 16:11-13, Luke 24:8-12, John 20:9, 25). Their friend, leader, and long-awaited Messiah was horribly dead and buried. They didn’t understand, and were just more numb now than anything, in shock.

And ashamed. After all, believing Him to be their Messiah and the Son of God, and even pledging their lives to defend or die with Him (Matthew 26:35, Luke 22:33, John 13:37), they – except for John, who was standing at the cross with Mary, Jesus’ mother – (John 19:26-27) ran like rabbits (Matthew 26:56, Mark 14:50-52, Luke 22:61-62). Peter followed to watch the trial, where he infamously denied he knew Jesus – not once, but three times!

He is not mentioned at the crucifixion.

And this perfect, loving, generous, gracious, healing man had been viciously crucified like a common criminal (Luke 23:32).

Was it their fault?

His body would have been thrown on the city dump if Joseph, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, had not spoken up, and requested to bury it in his own, new tomb (Matthew 27:57-60).

While the apostles were still in hiding (John 20:19).

And confused.

So very heartbroken

Are you having a little trouble making sense of the world lately? Maybe you’re somewhat in shock at the way things have been happening.

Might you even be a little ashamed, or feel responsible, that you didn’t see it coming sooner? You’ve worked hard at trying to take the steps that would protect your loved ones, and they got sick anyway. Maybe they lost jobs, or are working in one that puts them at risk, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Afraid to go outside, and in deference to government directives, maybe you’re in hiding yourself, from a disease that can kill. Even if you aren’t afraid for yourself, you don’t want to be responsible for giving it to someone else.

The world has become a scary place to you overnight. Confused and heartbroken, fearful inside your home, and afraid of going out, anxious about right now, and worried about the future, which some say isn’t looking too great.

But remember what happened on the third day?? He who was dead, was now alive, and that changed absolutely everything! Their mourning was turned to unspeakable joy, shame was eclipsed by gracious forgiveness. No more hiding, they became bold as lions. Confusion gave way to understanding, and broken hearts were somehow completely changed. The Healer was alive, and all things were made new!

Perhaps Jesus encourages us, as He did the disciples, after quieting the storm, …”Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! ”
Matthew 14:27 NLT

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