It can’t have been something they talked much about in the years following. While so much of that weekend became the stuff of gospel, the simple fact that the text records that they were scattered is a testimony to the reality. In one heart breaking hour, the hopes that had been built up from their nationalistic imaginations, fueled by the wonder that was Jesus, came crashing down, bouncing off the ground like Malchus’ ear. Jesus’ response to that brave but misguided attempt took all the fight out of them. He was giving up – they had no leader into battle. It was over before it had begun. And so they ran – scattered in every direction. Not their finest hour.
A couple of them with contacts found themselves close enough to see the tragedy unfold. It must have been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Time, formerly speeding along at breakneck speed, suddenly ground to an almost halt – dashing its passengers against the windshield of their hopes. All they could do was watch in horror as the inevitable played out before them. They kept in touch with the horror through the whispers and shouts on the street throughout that long dark night. Some of them were drawn, like a moth to candlelight, to the public spectacle the next morning where a few dozen militants swayed the crowd, and shredded any remaining hope. Only a few had the courage to stand in the long shadow of the cross – and only one close enough to hear.
And then, it was finally over. Huddled in fear, returned to the last place they remembered peace, they waited out the Sabbath. As day broke, they began their lonely journeys, scattering as quickly as possible back to whatever life they had left. They walked with broken hearts and leaden steps. Then, of a sudden, it was day again! Just as quickly as time had stopped, it began to race again. Broken hearts lept to wholeness at the news. “He’s Alive! He’s Alive!” Leaden feet winged their way, barely touching the tops of the mountains, carried aloft by the great good news. “He’s Alive! He’s Alive! HE’S ALIVE!”
Over the next few days, the euphoria settled in to an indescribable contentment – mixed with uncertainty. Things were radically different in every possible way. And it was increasingly clear, that Jesus had no intention of reforming the happy band. His goal for them was clear – they, most of whom had never been further than a couple hundred miles from home were now to be scattered – sown to the nations – seed from which the Kingdom would grow and against which the gates of hell would not prevail. Scattered – again. Now joyfully proclaim life changing news. “He’s Alive!”