Imagine the reaction.
It’s still early in the day. Already at least four of your closest friends have seen with your own eyes proof that you are alive. After seeing it for themselves they went back to the rest of their friends, who were hiding in fear, and told them what they saw and heard.
“I saw an angel roll the stone away. He said He was not there and I peeked in to see for myself. And it was true!”
“When I arrived the tomb was opened, just like Mary had said. I was too scared to look inside, but then Peter got there and went inside. He was gone!”
“When the earth quaked and the angel rolled away the stone the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb passed out with fear!”
“I went inside to see for myself. There was the burial cloth still lying there. And, get this – the cloth that had covered His head was neatly folded and in another place!”
“I lingered after the men left. While I wept, believing His body had been stolen, He spoke my name. I turned and it was Him!”
The first eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection did not initially believe, even though Jesus had predicted exactly what would happen. "Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death. Then they will hand Him over to the Gentiles, and they will mock Him, spit on Him, flog Him, and kill Him, and He will rise after three days." - Mark 10:33-34
You do just exactly what you said you would do. It’s proven to eyewitnesses who are also your friends. They say they believe you are who you say you are. But when it comes to actually believing? They hide in fear and doubt.
As the disciples were in seclusion, fearful they would be next on the most wanted list for crucifixion, Jesus met with them post-resurrection for the first time. There He was, standing in the same room – a room they had secured by locking the doors. Yet locked doors, like tombstones, were no match for the supernatural. Still, some doubted.
You know his story. Poor Thomas. He’s infamous for one blunder. He doubted and expressed his disbelief. Likely more were thinking, “Yeah. What Thomas said”. Then Jesus held out his hands and challenged him to touch the crucifixion wounds in His hands, feet and side. That challenge changed Thomas from doubter to worshipper. “My Lord and my God”, he said.
None of them emerged those post-resurrection days the same. The fears and doubts were erased by the fact that Christ had risen from the dead. How can that not fill you with confidence? They walked and talked with Him – even ate with Him – again as they had done before His death.
Then He commissioned them to not only be changed themselves, but to tell everyone they met that they, too, could be changed forever.
I wonder how many who gave something up for Lent in preparation for the resurrection were glad to see those forty days finally pass so they could go back to whatever it was they had temporarily surrendered.
Easter isn’t just a once a year reason to go to church then be free to go back to life the same as you were before. It’s about celebrating new life, not a return to the old. Don’t let another just come and go with nothing to show for it but some Peeps to eat.