How Did the Disciples Mourn Jesus?

When Jesus was crucified, his disciples were devastated. They mourned his death in various ways, and their grief is evident in the accounts of the crucifixion and the events that followed.

The Disciples’ Reactions
The Gospel of Mark describes how the disciples fled when Jesus was arrested: “Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away” (Mark 14:50, NLT). They were afraid for their lives, and they left Jesus to face his fate alone.

After Jesus’ death, however, some of the disciples returned to be near him. The Gospel of John records that “standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25, NLT).

John himself was also there. They may have been unable to help or comfort Jesus in any way, but they wanted to be with him during his final moments.

The Burial
After Jesus died on the cross, a man named Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus’ body down from the cross and bury him. Joseph was a wealthy man who had become a disciple of Jesus, and he wanted to honor him by giving him a proper burial.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Joseph “wrapped [Jesus’] body in a long sheet of clean linen cloth” (Matthew 27:59, NLT) and placed it in his own tomb. Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary watched as Joseph rolled a large stone over the entrance to the tomb.

The Resurrection
The disciples’ mourning turned into disbelief when they discovered that Jesus had risen from the dead. Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb on Sunday morning and found that it was empty. She ran to tell Peter and John what she had seen.

Later that same day, Jesus appeared to his disciples. The Gospel of John tells us that “the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!'”

(John 20:19, NIV). They were amazed and overjoyed to see him again.

The Ascension
After spending time with his disciples following his resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven. The Gospel of Luke describes how he led his disciples out to Bethany, where he blessed them and was taken up into heaven: “While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven” (Luke 24:51, NIV).

The disciples were left looking up at the sky in wonder. But they knew that Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort them. They would continue to mourn his death in some ways but would also go on to spread his message throughout the world.

The disciples’ mourning of Jesus was a natural response to the loss of someone they loved deeply. But their grief turned into joy when they discovered that he had risen from the dead. Their faith in Jesus gave them hope even in their darkest moments.

As we reflect on their experience, we can draw strength from their example. When we face difficult times or experience loss in our own lives, we can find comfort in knowing that God is always with us and that our faith can sustain us through even the toughest challenges.