Passion Week- Saturday

The disciples and the aftermath 
As the followers of Christ awake this morning they are greeted by a brief glimmer of hope that it was all only a dream, the same feeling many of us who have unexpectedly lost loved ones experience that next day.  All night they replayed the events of the previous 24 hours in their minds.  Again and again they see that strange encounter between Jesus and Judas. Over and over again they see Judas greet Him with a kiss. They see themselves running for their lives in the garden, again and again in their mind's eye they see Jesus writhing in pain as He was whipped, beaten, and tortured.  The sounds haunt them as they can still hear His cries with each clank of the nails being driven.  What a horrible night.  Then, in complete exhaustion, they finally fell asleep.  

Now as they begin to stir in the early morning that faint glimmer of hope quickly vanishes and is replaced with dread, shock, emptiness and sorrow as they soon realize that it was not a dream.  They quickly scan the room and their eyes fall on the empty bed Jesus would have occupied.  He really is gone. The man they had spent almost every waking hour with for the past three years was now gone. 

Worse than that is the realization that they were wrong about this person who they thought was the Savior, the Son of God.  They almost feel betrayed, yet at the same time, they loved Him too much to be angry.
  
All of this is compounded by the fact that they all know that they are marked men, and if they are not careful, they might all meet the same fate as their leader.

They all wonder, "Can this day be any worse?"  As those words are pondered, suddenly the door to the upper room bursts open.  They all jump, fearing the Romans are coming for them.  Only it is not a soldier.  Instead it is one of the other followers with a shocked look on his face trying to catch his breath. 

"Judas!" he blurts out.  "Judas is dead!  They just found him outside the city gates. He hung himself next to the ravine.”  It looks like the branch broke because when they found him he was laying at the bottom with the rope still around his neck and his body mutilated from the fall.

The disciples lose hope
At this point shock sets in again, only now they are too numb to cry.  Another brother, another friend is gone.  It is only now that the greater shock begins to set in. It will soon grow to hatred.  Did Judas betray the master?  No, he couldn't have, but why was he with the soldiers?  They spend the rest of the day trying to make sense of it all.  Time seems as if it has halted.  There is no energy, no hope, no will to move on. Only despair.  They are only left to wonder, "What now?  What do we do? Where do we go from here?"  All is lost.

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