Believe | Devotion #3: Where?
Roger Allen | Recovery Director
“Then he released for them Barabbas and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.” Matthew 27:26
The year was 30 AD, and the disciples have just witnessed the capture of the Lord. Not understanding the full implications of what had just happened, they must have felt lost, abandoned, scared, and unprepared for what was to come. Fearing for their lives, they went into hiding hoping no one would betray their association with Jesus. The week had been one of many different emotions, from the triumphal entry to the last supper, and then the crowds turning on Jesus. Spending three years with Jesus, one would think that the disciples’ faith would be unwavering, and they would take Him at His word. But they were disillusioned and did not understand that Jesus would come back to life. Their hopes had been crushed for a new kingdom, and they feared for their safety in this environment that did not include Jesus.
“But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.” Mark 9:32
There are at least eleven different accounts in the Bible of where Jesus appears over the forty days He remained on earth. The tomb, Jerusalem, Galilee, the road to Emmaus, and Damascus were some of the places that He appeared. Jesus knew that He had to establish that He was alive. Mary would be the first at the tomb to meet Jesus. The disciples would be given the Great Commission at Galilee and Paul would have a complete transformation on the road to Damascus. These encounters became a turning point in each one of their lives. With their faith strengthened, they were able to finish the race and proclaim the Gospel.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:16-20
Places can hold a special meaning to each one of us. For me, the church where I work is also the place I call “my road to Damascus.” Unforeseen, this is where my salvation story began. I did not search the “tomb” and neither did I believe those who told me about the Gospel. Like Thomas, it would take a supernatural event to repent of my disbelief. It is where I met Jesus.
“And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” Matthew 28:9