Why were none of the disciples waiting by Jesus’ tomb on the third day? Looking at the gospel of Matthew, Jesus states to His disciples multiple times what must happen to Him.
“From then on Jesus began to tell His disciples plainly that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem, and that He would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day He would be raised from the dead.” Matthew 16:21
“After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day He will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.” Matthew 17:22-23
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to Him. “Listen,” He said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence Him to die. Then they will hand Him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day He will be raised from the dead.” Matthew 20:17-19
But the enemy believed…
The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ Matthew 27:62-63
Easter is about God’s redemptive plan for humanity. He knows, even after we’ve come to Him, we’ll have doubts, fears, wrestles in our faith. Faith should be defined as PROCESS. Faith is a process, a journey. It’s always growing, being tested and refined. God gives us opportunities to trust Him, to believe what He’s spoken, but even when we don’t, He comes to us. He meets us. He finds us. Just like He did with the disciples. He found them after He had risen. God’s gift to humanity through Jesus is that He is God with us. We’re aren’t in this alone. He is with us. God never leaves us or forsakes us even in the midst of the promised troubles of this life.
This Easter, my invitation to you, is to be okay with where you’re at in the process. Just like Jesus didn’t rebuke the disciples for not being at the tomb, He doesn’t rebuke you when your faith is weak. He loves us. Rest in that. Trust that. He’s got you.