There must have been a sense of finality following the death of Christ. Jesus had spoken the words “It is finished.” It must have felt finished for the disciples. The man they had been following had been killed. The man they gave up their lives for was no more. There was more than a loss of a friend and leader. There was a loss of purpose in these men.
How guilty Peter must have felt. I can only imagine he sat hiding with the other disciples wishing he had an opportunity to take the last 24 hours back. Wishing he could have the opportunity to tell Jesus he was sorry. Begging for a second chance to do better, but that is the thing about death. It removes the opportunity for second chances.
That was the law of nature as mankind new it up to that point. Death was the final note in a short song of your life. When someone final note hit it had consequences on the opportunities of those around them as well. Never again could you hear that loved one laugh. Never again would you be able to experience the warmth of their hug. Never again would you experience the joy that came from being near them. Because death is final, and that is all there is to it.
It was so normal, and so real that it seemed impossible for people to believe things could be any different. Most of us would have been like Thomas. We would have demanded to put our hand on the piercing hole at Jesus side when hearing of this crazy resurrection. It sounds like a conspiracy theory cooked up by the fanatics. A desperate last attempt to cling on to some hokey religion. After all, it goes against everything our world knows. Death is it. The final note in the short song of your life.
That is what makes this event that we celebrate the most earth shattering event in history. When Christ died Scripture says that the earth shook. It was as if the earth itself understood that this death was unnatural. Death came as a consequence of sin, but suddenly there was a man who took on that consequence without ever earning it. The death itself was exceptionally abnormal. It needed to be completely foreign to the rules in order to allow what happened next.
The story of Christ is not simply the story of a man who taught some lesson on treating people well, and died. It is a story of a God who came down, invaded this earth to take back his kingdom, and was daring enough to offer the opportunity for mankind to live twice. Suddenly it was no longer the death of the body that was the swan song for your life, but rather the death of sin that was the final note in your old life. Suddenly your life is more than just a simply song, but rather one piece of melody in a grand symphony that echoes through the ages with one grand message. A message of a God who lived the life of a man. Who humbled himself to think of us. Who died on a Friday, but had the earth itself pules with the war cry that Sunday is on its way. Darkness has hold of Friday, but the breaking of dawn will fill the earth. If you thought nature went out of sync on Friday, but wait until Sunday.
It is a song of second chances. The song of Peter that cried out that God can still use a man of brokenness. It is the song of Saul the persecutor beckoning us to a new life. It is the song of Stephen that is cried out to a Christian brothers and sister dying for their faith today. It is the song of redemption, and it’s building up to this moment. Tomorrow is not just any Sunday. Tomorrow is Sunday, and tomorrow we will once again lift our voices as one across the globe of the church joining with those who are broken, changed, and facing death to cry out to the world that this is not the end. This is not the final note in a short song. This is the mark of the next step in the grandest story the world has ever known. Tomorrow we as a church will sing as one.