I saw the movie Risen in the theater a couple weeks ago, and was especially struck by how the actors portrayed the disciples’ individual reunions with their Savior. There was utter joy on their faces at seeing their Master again and Jesus responded with pure exuberance at seeing them again as they embraced one another. The movie’s portrayals of these interactions spoke to the depth of the bonds that Jesus had with his disciples and the eagerness they all had to be together.
It reminds me that Jesus desires the same sort of relationship with me and with each one of us. But I find myself not as quick to respond as the disciples did. I moan a little when I wake up on some Sundays before heading to church. I hesitate to pray before a meal or at bedtime, because I feel uncomfortable about engaging in the activity.
But worship and prayer should be something that come naturally to us as Christians. They should be things that we crave and that we are eager to involve ourselves in. Why? Because they give us more personal time with our best Friend, Jesus. They help us to grow closer to him, to build a stronger relationship with our Lord who only wants to be with us and love us.
For some reason, we don’t often think too much about the time right after the Resurrection of Christ. But it is a period worth exploring in greater depth. The care that the risen Jesus shows to a doubting Thomas by allowing him to touch his nail prints and scar is palpable. And the forgiveness and compassion that Jesus blesses a repentant Peter with are energizing and enlightening. Jesus understands that we have doubts and he wants to ease our minds. He knows that we fail him in epic fashions, but he still wants us to be a part of his mission team to spread the Gospel to others.
In many ways, we are in the same position that the disciples were in after that first Easter. Our hearts long to be with our Savior, and we look forward to the time when we will feel his warm embrace of love. Be blessed in this after-Easter life.