Imagine being in that room, the first day of the week (Easter), the doors were locked out of fear. Here, the disciples gathered, petrified. They had to be thinking, if they could do what they did to someone like Jesus, who knows what they could do to his followers!
The room, fraught with fear, only to be outdone by the heavy weight of sorrow and loss they all felt because of the death of their friend, their mentor, their hero. Tension, anxiety, fear, everyone was on edge. God, what else could go wrong and what other calamity could be coming? What now? How would they ever manage to leave this room, much less consider how they would consider to live the next day?
Then, in the center of all this grief, fear and defeat, someone stands in their midst.
No way! We are hallucinating! It must be hunger and anxiety! It cannot be him! Imagine the fear that must have erupted. The mind-blowing thought that a dead man was now in their midst, through locked doors! No, it can’t be!
As their fear, shock and bewilderment gave way to the splinter of joy of “maybe it’s true?,” the pall began to lift. The idea, the hope and now the reality of it all came true. He did it! We are saved. Suddenly joy, strength, confidence and faith swept through that room.
John, does not embellish describing the emotions in that room. John’s words “The disciples rejoiced” is almost comically understated. These words hardly describe what must have really happened to this group of people. John’s point of course is not to describe the disciples emotional rise, his point is to underline the words the risen Christ first said post resurrection, “Peace! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” In other words, we have work to do.