The disciples stand and stare at the empty space. The space once filled by the one who has lived more than they have ever lived. The one who has felt the bite of nails, and whips, and a roman spear. The one who has torn open a coffin, and a tomb, and made dead folk walk again. The one who has scanned a seething crowd of thousands and not batted a eyelid when he heard their stomachs rumbling. The one who slept through the fiercest of storms, and then, his eyes still bleary from his rest, stood up and boomed peace across the grim, deathly waters. So many memories, so many moments never witnessed before, by them or anyone else. And now, the final jaw-dropping miracle. The man melting before their eyes. Rising up and slipping from one dimension to another. Gone. Even as they watch, even as they will him to stay and do everything for them. Gone. The final whisper of his life carried away by the gentlest of breezes. And yet, and yet, knowing all of this, knowing he really is the one his stories hinted at all along, knowing the Palm Sunday crowd were surely right, knowing that Herod and Pilate together couldn’t hold a candle to his power and authority… yet… yet… some of them doubted. Questions persisting, refusing to stop crowding their cluttered heads. They have seen… and yet they wonder. As is the way with us folks of contradictions. Miracles and muddles. Trust and torment. Courage and questions. And perhaps those first faithful followers hate the doubts that chase the certainty around their minds. Perhaps they shake their heads in a vain attempt to shoo the wonderings away, to tip them out of the nearest ear so that they are gone forever. But it cannot be. And so they trudge back to the city. Trusting and questioning. Belief and unbelief squatting side by side in their souls and bodies. And even as he slips away he is well aware of what he leaves behind. Flawed heroes who will always need his help. He knows. He understands.
Matthew 28 vv 16-17