I have tried from time to time
to wrap my mind around what it must have been like
to find myself a disciple of the Christ
waking up in Jerusalem on this Sabbath,
knowing that they’d finally killed
God’s Own Anointed yesterday.
“Wasn’t it just six days ago
that we stood with him on the Mount of Olives?”
“Didn’t we watch the crowds cutting branches
and laying their cloaks on the road?”
“Didn’t we hear them shouting ‘Hosanna! Hosanna!'”
“Didn’t we stand with him as he preached in the temple
and taught in the courtyard?”
“Just night before last,
did we not keep with him the Passover?”
And, in the blackness of guilt and shame,
remember that not one of us stayed with him,
not one of us shared his arrest;
but thought it best to run from the mob in the night.
We all might just as well have denied him
as did Peter.
“Is abandonment not in itself some degree of betrayal?”
It just seems so impossible that he is gone,
crucified with thieves,
mocked by priests and pagans,
buried by a stranger.
I will not say that I would have done any different,
certainly no better, no matter how many miles
walked in honor and esteem.
It takes greater faith than one might think
to face a mob of swords and staves,
much easier the saying of what one would do—
or at least should do—
rather than doing of it.
Did they remember his promise
to rebuild the temple of his own body?
Did they remember his prophecy
that he would rise again?
Did they remember Lazarus,
the raising of the others,
the healing of thousands,
and take hope?
Or did they believe that even Jonah
in the belly of the whale
did not truly grasp
the depths of despair?
I do know this:
it is not such an easy thing
to truly believe in resurrection
when the Giver of Life
is lying in a tomb.