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Believe

By Jonathan Camiolo –

This past winter was a long one.  It was extremely cold with the temperatures in the single digits for weeks on end.  Heating bills soared due to weather that was severe.  Record snowfalls in many various cities throughout the country made people start asking if winter would ever end.  Icy roads caused dangerous travel on a regular basis.  Schools were closed for unprecedented amounts of time.  Despite the significant cold, severe weather, and overall impact on schedules, everyone still believed that spring would come and hoped that better weather would be here soon.

On Easter morning, the apostles and close friends of Jesus must have been thinking about the days that had just passed.  Their friend and leader had been arrested, falsely accused, put on trial, and sentenced to death.  Not only that, Jesus was whipped brutally, laughed at, crowned with thorns, spit on and jeered at as He walked the streets carrying the cross to His own death.  Finally, He was crucified on the cross where He hung for hours before finally taking His last breath.

Most of the apostles had run away and hid.  Judas, one of their inner circle, was the one that betrayed Jesus.  Peter had followed Jesus after he was arrested to see what was happening, but denied knowing Jesus.  Overall, Jesus’ close friends and those He had spent all 3 years of his public ministry with turned out to be cowards and unreliable when things got tough.  I am sure that they were pretty down, disappointed in themselves for running and confused about what had just happened to the man they had believed in.  They had followed Him. These women and men had been following Christ and his teaching for years now.  They had looked a bit foolish at times, leaving all that they had and did to follow Him.  Now He was gone.  Maybe they though they made a mistake?  Was it their fault?

All of a sudden, they hear that Jesus was not in the tomb where he had been buried.  When the apostles arrived at the tomb, Jesus was gone.  It was just as Mary of Magdala had said.  They did not understand what had happened, but the Gospel says that they “believed”.  They did not know for sure that He had risen, but their faith was apparent.  They still had hope.  They still believed that He could overcome the situation.  They believed another ending was possible.

Can you imagine arriving there that morning?  What would you have done?  How strong would your faith be?  Would you BELIEVE that Jesus had risen from the dead?

There are times in our lives that we don’t understand.  There are times that things do not make sense.  There are situations and relationships that can leave us feeling confused.  We are not much different from the apostles and those that spent much time with Jesus here on earth.  The challenge is to BELIEVE – to believe that He has a plan, to believe that He will give us the grace and the strength if we ask Him for it, to believe that He loves us and the believe that there is always hope when we place our lives in Him.

HAPPY EASTER!  Never stop BELIEVING!

 

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