A long time ago a group of men and women who had known each other for a number of years were scared. Their best friend and teacher had suddenly been arrested and before they could even find out what was happening he had been charged, tried, sentenced and put to death.
And all this happened in a civilised society under military rule.
Imagine what it must have been like for Peter and John, Mary Magdalene and Mary, Jesus’ mother, as they woke up on the Saturday morning after the night before, the day we call ‘good’ Friday. That is if they got any sleep at all that night.
Their lives were turned upside down and they were terrified, confused, disappointed, shattered and alone. Nothing would ever be the same again and how on earth could they possibly continue?
But then came Sunday!!!
Over the course of the day they discovered the empty tomb, they had an encounter with the risen Jesus and they met others who had also met with their master and friend. It took time for them to realise what had happened, but when it did their lives really were changed forever.
Fear and trembling was replaced by bravery, courage and conviction. Disappointment replaced by understanding and excitement. Peter became the rock on which Jesus really could build his church and because of their certainty we have heard the good news of the empty tomb – and what it means.
And the same can be true for us, as once we meet the risen Lord, life will never be the same again.
Peter and John, Mary and the others still faced hardship and tough times. But they were not alone. Nothing could divert them from spreading the good news that Jesus was alive – and because of his death and resurrection, all who accept him will live forever in paradise. No wonder they were changed forever.
So what impact does this Easter message have on you and me?