Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”
Any understanding of the events of Jesus’ suffering and death was hidden from the disciples whenever Jesus spoke about it prior to his death (Luke 18:34). It was only after his resurrection that Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. But while the events were unfolding and following his death, they didn’t understand what was happening or why or what it all was leading to.
They had such hope in Jesus – and He and that hope were snatched away from them in such an incredibly vicious way. On top of that they all had fled just as he said they would. I cannot imagine the pain, despair and hopelessness that they experienced at His arrest, crucifixion and death. How could they console one another? There had never been anyone like Jesus
Our view is so dominated by the knowledge and joy that Jesus rose from the dead, it’s difficult to comprehend the pain they went through. That pain, and restless sleepless nights would have continued not only on that Friday, but on Saturday and into Sunday.
I think of the scenes of Aslan’s death from ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’. Lucy and Susan watched as the hundreds of horrible creatures tortured and then killed Aslan. In their heartbreak, they witnessed the jubilation of the Witch and the wicked host who believed they had won and that nothing could now stop them. Aslan was now gone forever. The girls’ tears and misery lasted throughout the night. In the morning they experienced more pain as they tried to untie Aslan’s body. They had no idea what was about to happen.
Two thousand years ago, the first disciples spent today in such pain. Wicked men had killed Jesus of Nazareth, the man so used by God and they were helpless to stop it. They experienced the shame of running and hiding. They deserted Jesus – just as he said they would. They didn’t understand what was about to happen.