There are many snippets here and there in the Bible that are special to me. My favourite however, is found in John 21.
Jesus has been crucified. All hopes and expectations that He truly was the One to come and free Israel from Rome have been put on the shelf. Confusion abounds.
And then - reports of Jesus rising from the dead, just as He predicted, turn out to be true. He shows up behind locked doors. He eats with His followers. Teaches them. Reassures them that all is well and then - nothing. He’s gone again. Days pass. Not knowing what to do next, the men do what they know best. They go fishing.
Here’s my favourite part. “It’s the Lord!” Approaching the shore after a night of fishing John recognises Him first. Jesus is sitting on the beach with a fire going and some fish are cooking. Peter agrees with John. He dives into the water and swims to shore while the rest of the guys bring in their boats and the nets full of fish.
They crowd around Him, this Man who was dead - most certainly dead and buried.
Who’s ever seen such a thing? So contrary to human experience is someone rising from the dead that even though this is the third time since His resurrection that Jesus has appeared to them, spoken with them, eaten with them, been touched by them, that John writes,
“None of us dared ask Him, “Who are you?” For we knew it was the Lord.”
This - is my favourite picture. Doubt and certainty mixed together. Excitement and apprehension. Joy at what is, coupled with fear that it might not be real.
This is my favourite picture. A Love that was lost is with them again. Hopes that had been crushed are being renewed. The possibility, the only possibility of forgiveness resides once again in their midst. Restoration and reconciliation are at hand. Jesus will never again leave them as orphans.
This is my favourite picture.