"...because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights,[b] so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights." -Matthew 12:40
Today, I started thinking of that first day. And the second day. And the third day. The disciples (excluding John and Mary M.) had fled; they weren’t there for the crucifixion. Maybe they watched the trial from afar. Maybe they heard the chants “Crucify Him!” in the distance.
No matter where they were, I’m sure they felt the ground shake when the earth split. Did they think it was a coincidence?
But when it was all said and done “finished,” I wonder what it was like? When the disciples found their way back to each other for the first time, did they collapse into each other’s arms and cry over the massive hole in their hearts?
Were they huddled together in silent dismay? Did they break out into arguments over what the Pharisees did and why Jesus let it happen? No doubt, they must have been searching through the fog of grief trying to grasp all that He’d said to them beforehand.
Yes, He had told them what would happen, but the Bible says they couldn’t comprehend it. Perhaps, they never heard it until He allowed them to remember at the proper time?
Did they question all that they’d experienced with Him? The man who called Lazarus out of the tomb was now in a tomb Himself. Was He not as powerful as they thought? Had everything they’d seen been a hoax?
I can imagine them tossing in their sleep, grasping at their final moments with Him. Maybe they couldn’t shake the thoughts about the pain He endured and guilt knowing they could have been with Him but weren’t. After all He’d done for them.
Maybe they woke up the second and third day and looked for Him, but then remembered the terrible ache of knowing He wasn’t there.
In those three days, who took the lead? Who fell silent? Who was the comforter? Who grew depressed and angry? Who was starting to make a plan?
And did one of them, even in the back of his mind, consider the possibility of what was to come that joyful morning?