Easter is about surprises. If you go out for a walk today, surprise one of the people you meet on the road (from a 2 meter distance) and say to him or her; Happy Easter because the Lord is risen today. I don’t know whether the other will respond with; He is risen indeed. But, he or she will at least be surprised by what you say.
What happened to the disciples on Easter morning was not less surprising.
The experience of this surprise was for the disciples a kind of spiritual experience which we might better call a spiritual distortion, because their whole world view turned upside down. It’s not normal that dead people re-appear on the 3rd day after their funeral and greet their friends.
Churches are generally not good at letting people doubt and pastors or ministers are expected to know exactly who God is and how He works with and for His people in this world. Doubt and confusion do not really fit into this pattern. But that’s exactly what the first Easter is all about; doubt and confusion.
Doubt about the resurrection of Jesus and confusion about how and what had happened.
Take for example the witness of the 2 Mary’s who went to the grave to pay their last tribute to the corps of Jesus, as we read in Mark. In those days no one wishing to convince someone of an event would use women as witnesses.
The doubt and confusion of the resurrection was accompanied by an overturning of certain fixed rules of behaviour in that society.
The disciples didn’t believe the story at first and it made them think very hard. This experience is a powerful reminder to us. God wants us to be aware of the reality of the risen Lord that we become enthusiastic witnesses.
The disciples and other friends of Jesus have gone through the doubt and confusion for us at the first Easter. But, it didn’t hold them down. Their doubt and confusion turned into the greatest incentive ever seen in this world of convincing others of this truth. They did not go alone, because it was the risen Christ Who appeared to them and helped them overcoming all doubt and confusion.
As the disciples so many years ago we can overcome doubt and confusion to rejoice and be thankful for what the resurrection really means; sin and evil, all leading to death, have been overcome through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.