Your followers believed in you.
They believed you were God.
But you died.
The soldiers verified that you died.
The high priests and elders went back to their religious celebration.
The people were gone.... back to their holiday dinner.
And your friends, frightened for their lives, felt betrayed by you.
Your mother was there.
And the ones who remained with you throughout this nightmare of a day
The others came creeping back when the crowds dispersed.
They were broken, their dreams destroyed
But they loved you, Jesus.
They lovingly brought your body down from that cross and claimed it as their own.
They did not understand what had happened but they loved you anyway.
Even now........ when they were absolutely sure...... that you could NOT be the long-awaited Messiah.
When I think about all the people on that day.... the oblivious holiday revelers, the worried high priests and elders, the Romans who just wanted to make sure there were no riots, the grieving women, the frightened friends who came back at the end.... I wonder who I would have been. In my life, I have been all of them. Of course, I would want to be one of the loyal ones who stayed with you all the way. But I would also like to be one of the frightened friends.... who loved you enough to come back for forgiveness... because we know that you forgive. You show us how to love and forgive.... the feeling of being forgiven is only outweighed by the feeling of forgiving... you show us that too. Help me to love like you do!