Have you ever been part of a team or club that came to a screeching halt? My best friend and I played tennis for our high school team and were hoping to make it into the state tournament, but an unexpected loss brought our hopes to a disappointing end. It took a minute to dawn on me that it wasn’t just the end of the match – it was the end of the season.

Endings have a way of taking us by surprise and leaving us in confusion. What did I do wrong? What didn’t I understand? What’s next?

Is there something in your life that ended recently, leaving you surprised or confused? Is there anything anyone could have said to comfort you in that confusion?

Like us, Jesus’ followers were left in a state of confusion, disillusionment, and pain when their journey with Him came to an end that dark Friday.

And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.”

–Luke 23:48-49, NASB

What kind of response would you have had, observing from a distance? What would you have thought? What would you have felt?

During the month of April, we considered what it meant to “Rise and Rise Again,” to participate in the transformative experience of continuing to say “Yes, Lord” to whatever God brings our way. This month, we will engage with conversations Jesus had with his followers in the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension. Conversations with Mary Magdalene, the women at His tomb, Peter, the Eleven, Thomas, James His brother, Cleopas and his Emmaus Road companion, and the crowd of 500. By engaging with these conversations devotionally, we can ponder the effect of these interactions on Jesus’ followers then, and subsequently, their impact on us today.


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