As we celebrate Easter Sunday, from the Gospel of St. John, we see that the disciples have a difficult time understanding what is happening:
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. -John 20:1-9, NAB
As we read the Gospels, it is pretty clear that Jesus predicts His death and resurrection. So why did the disciples seem so confused in this Bible verse? Why were they in shock that Jesus was not there in the tomb?
Understanding God can be one of the most difficult aspects of our faith. When God’s plan does not match what we believe it should be, we become lost and confused. The disciples were expecting a great king to lead them to victory over Rome. He did, but not in the way that they expected.
How many times has God moved in unexpected ways in our own lives. It can be difficult – even frustrating – to comprehend why He leads us down certain paths. Ultimately, we will never understand His ways, and that is where faith comes in.
Faith requires that we put our complete hope and faith in God, whether we understand Him or not. God had a greater purpose for Christ going to the cross than the disciples understood, and the purpose He has for our own lives is greater than we will ever know, as well.
As we celebrate Easter, the greatest celebration of our faith, let’s re-focus our lives on trusting in God – regardless if we understand His plans for us. God has a great plan for us, we simply need to have enough faith to believe.