The Evening after Jesus Died
Mary and the women with her, and the disciples went away dejected, discouraged, and without hope, as they felt that hope was dashed as they watched their Messiah die. It was as if all that Jesus had taught them went in one ear and out the other and they had completely forgotten that Jesus said he would rise again in three days. That didn't enter their hearts as they grieved together their loss. The women must have gone home to begin preparing the spices for the burial, and to prepare food for those that would come to grieve with them. The disciples probably just sat remembering all the good times they had with Jesus sharing with one another and yet feeling that those experiences were mere memories and they would never see their Master again.
Have you ever thought of how the priests and elders that had manipulated all the events of that day went home that evening? The priests probably went home very smug that they had accomplished their dirty deed and their jobs were safe now. They need not worry any longer that their jobs were in jeopardy. Now they could sleep soundly because they could get up in the morning and continue in their money-making positions.
What about the soldiers that led Jesus through the streets to be crucified? They were probably closest in proximity to him throughout that eventful day. They knew the extent of his suffering as he struggled to carry the heavy cross laid on his bleeding back. They are the ones that nailed his hands and his feet to the cross. They even had the audacity to remove his clothing and gamble for the only possessions Jesus owned---have you ever wondered why they would want clothes that were bloodstained and dirty from the road dust that gathered on them while Jesus stumbled and fell through the streets that day?
They even mocked him and gave him vinegar to drink while he suffered so from thirst. They even accepted bribe money to tell a lie about what happened to him after Jesus' body was no longer in the tomb. When they went home after that very long and hectic day, as they lay in their bed that night, what do you think went through their minds? Were they puzzled by this man they had nailed to the cross? Were their hearts so hardened that they had gone home that day satisfied they had done their job well? Did any sense of remorse enter their hearts? Did they ever consider they may have killed The Messiah? Did any one of them weep and ask for repentance for their evil behavior that day?
How about the crowd in general---the ones who had become frenzied as they screamed "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"---the ones who had mocked and spit upon him, the ones who watched the blood pour from his body on the cross? Did they go home that night with a contentment that their bloodthirsty appetites had been satisfied? They got what they wanted and felt that sense of power that brought the event about. Were they smug in their ability to convince Pilate to have Jesus crucified and to have a known evil murderer released instead? Did any one of them go home that night and ask "What have I done?"
What about Barabbas? Have you ever wondered what this evil murderer felt when he was released for his evil crimes? Did he continue on his evil path of murder and destruction of other peoples' lives? Did it over cross his mind to wonder about the man who enabled him to be released?
Have you ever asked yourself if you had been in the crowd that day demanding Jesus' death if you had lived then? How do you respond to Jesus today? Do you consider him an out and out liar as He proclaimed His Messiahship by raising from the dead? Do you consider him a good man who once walked on the earth long many years ago, but He has no significance on your life at all today? Do you not think about Jesus at all? OR, do you know Him as the Risen Savior who accomplished the greatest act the world has ever known or will ever know again? He rose again from the dead, conquered and has victory over death, and is alive today sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, interceding on our behalf! He is knocking on the door of every heart waiting for them to open the door and receive Him as Lord and Savior. Have you responded and do you know Him as your Savior?
Jesus is alive!