Following the trauma brought about by the betrayal, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus, the disciples now have to navigate the stages to accepting resurrection.
While they may not have fully come to terms with the stages of grief, the disciples are now confronted with a re-calculated journey of resurrected life! They found themselves ‘in the meantime’ – an interval between momentous and monumental experiences, resulting in earth shattering shifts.
Such an intervening time can be a life-altering-tremor-like experience resulting in a review of values, vision and viability. In their state of recovering from post-traumatic-crucifixion syndrome, the disciples find themselves ‘in the meantime.’
It is here where the risen Jesus appears to them. In this ‘mean time’ of processing life-altering experiences, Jesus shows up for them, to them, and with them.
The time between resurrection and ascension is a reminder to all of us that the resurrected Christ has the audacity to appear in our ‘meantime’ circumstances. The risen, but scarred, Christ is willing to show up in our ‘meantime’ spaces of doubt and vulnerability.
With evidence of crucifixion-trauma, the risen Christ has the courage to meet us ‘in our meantime’ places of pain and disaster. In that ‘meantime’ of questioning God’s presence and will, purpose and ability, Jesus shows up!
In your spiritual and psychological location, He will pay you a visit. In your spiritual and emotional condition, He will come and be with you. Whatever your physical and social position might be, an appearance by the risen Christ is both possible and inevitable. Your ‘in the meantime’ location, condition and position are not too far, nor too deep, nor too high for Jesus to make a transformative appearance to sustain, strengthen and secure your faith.
To sustain your faith ‘in the meantime,’ Jesus shows up to restore assurance and covenant. The assurance of His presence, during this emotional and spiritual rollercoaster, is fulfillment of His promise. He shows up in their ‘meantime’ to affirm His covenant to “never leave nor forsake” them.
When Jesus shows up ‘in the meantime,’ it’s a declaration of desired and deserved affirmation. Whether it’s on the “Road to Emmaus,” the road you are traveling on today, through His assurance and covenant, Jesus will appear to and with you as His vow of accompaniment.
Our faith ‘in the meantime’ is strengthened through critical reflection and instruction. Whether meeting the disciples attempting to catch fish in default-mode, His reflection results in instruction to yield fruitful results. Reflecting with Peter on what it means to love Him results in providing a prescription for post-resurrection behavior.
Like the disciples, we are instructed to cast our nets according to post-resurrection possibilities. How we relate to our ‘sheep-kin,’ whether neighbor or stranger, must be a reflection of our love for a post-resurrection Jesus.
Regardless of how far, deep and high your personal crucifixion may have taken you away from God’s presence, Jesus’ appearance will commission you into a new direction for a new destination. Regardless of how dark and disempowering your ‘meantime’ might be, when Jesus shows up, you will be called and commissioned from a new place into a new purpose. From failure and vulnerability, we are called and commissioned from our ‘meantime’ into fortitude and victory!
The appearances of Jesus between resurrection and ascension are to re-assure and re-purpose! ‘In the meantime’ provides us with the opportunity to re-member and re-connect with God’s ultimate plan.
When Jesus appears ‘in your meantime,’ get yourself ready for a reset and a restart! Keeping faith ‘in the meantime’ will result in Pentecost.
Whatever your ‘meantime’ might be, the risen Christ will show up with blessed assurance, bold instruction, and bodacious direction.