Easter is Awkward... But It's Not Over
Easter this year came and went by so swiftly, passing by mostly unnoticed. Those in quarantine may feel that it's no different than any other day, as they mosey around at home or about the nearby streets of Bangkok.
For most liturgical churches, however, Easter day only marks the beginning of Easter rather than the end of it. In fact, the celebration of Eastertide will last for 50 days, long enough for us to recognize the implications of Easter, especially for those of us who are slow to pick up the good news.
One of the things John recorded at the end of his gospel is Jesus' appearance to "doubting" Thomas, nicknamed because he asked to see the Lord's wounds after hearing reports of the resurrection. Thomas is famous for saying, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (Jn. 20:25).
The funny thing about this story is it took another eight days for Jesus to reveal the marks on His body to Thomas, which led to Thomas's confession: "My Lord and my God!" (Jn. 20:28). So for eight days, Thomas practically lived without hope, without change. He lived like Jesus was still dead.
Even for many of the disciples, life continued on as usual after Jesus rose, which makes the chapters following the resurrection the awkwardest parts of the Gospels. The disciples are slow to pick up how much things were about to change. Simon Peter went fishing and didn't recognize Jesus until John told him it was the Lord (Jn. 21:7). Note that this was after Jesus has already revealed Himself to them once. And yet, Jesus had to reveal Himself to the disciples three times (Jn. 21:14) before we get to the book of Acts, which is where things began to change.
So where do we find ourselves in this story? The awkwardness of Easter is not unique to the disciples. The story of doubt is not unique to Thomas.
We are still unsure of what to do with ourselves, even when we know how this story ends. If the post-resurrection stories mean anything, they illustrate the frailty of human minds.
As glorious as Easter is, our minds cannot grasp the victory of Jesus in its totality. For Jesus's resurrection to mean anything, we must give ourselves time. If it took Jesus three times to reveal Himself to the disciples for them to change, why should we expect it to take us any less? Fortunately enough, the Easter season has just begun, and until we fully grasp what Easter means, let us, with the help of God, feast on.