“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’”—John 21:3
It was the most memorable Passover ever! Invariably, each soul that had been touched in some way by the profound events of historic importance resumed “normal” life. The Gospels certainly relate the most important part of the story. Perhaps, we can speculate a bit on the rest as we consider the aftermath.
In and around the Jerusalem Temple, the Levites were immersed in the usual, extensive, annual post-Passover clean-up. All those animals brought for sacrifice left some kinda mess! The various ritual items and vessels had to be cleansed and purified before being stored. Countless hours were spent scraping candle wax from the floors. The festal garments required substantial stain-removal and mending before being laundered. The courtyard money-changer tables needed to be replaced, having been broken beyond repair. (“Who would do such a thing!”) And several staff meetings were convened to discuss how, if at all, the massive Temple curtain/veil—astonishingly torn in half!—could be salvaged.
The Pharisees were extremely busy, what with the pre-festal crucifixion and all. Not only were they doing some significant damage-control to keep folks loyal and orderly, but they were also holding hearings to determine which guards fell asleep on the job after they had been ordered to be alert for thieves intent on stealing the body. They were also contracting local restoration crews to repair broken tombs (some said “dead people walked out of them!”) and give them all a fresh coat of whitewash. Completing all the paperwork to legally document the acquisition of the Potter’s Field and turn it into a cemetery took some time. They also heard a rather disturbing report from the TFC (Temple Finance Committee) noting that tithe and other revenue offerings were down considerably this Passover, due in part to the unruly and turbulent environment surrounding the festivities. They’d need to organize another fund-raiser to help meet the budget.
The scribes were sequestered in one the Temple’s conference rooms, sharing information and details from various sources to collaborate on the documentation of the festal events for posterity. Their work was made more difficult as the official minutes of the Pharisees and Sadducees meetings were either missing, severely redacted, or marked ‘confidential.’
The Temple priests tried desperately to maintain their normal rigorous schedule of worship. While most tended to their regular duties, some were heard to amend the daily prayers with subtle references to Jesus. Others, convinced Christ was the Messiah, resigned from the priesthood and soon after found themselves in the unemployment line. These were holding secret gatherings with guest speakers who had followed Jesus and/or gave testimony of His miracles. (It was rumored that Jairus was leading his entire synagogue congregation to follow “The Way.”)
Meanwhile, Pontius Pilate was utterly exhausted from “the whole Jesus episode.” Though he’d publicly washed his hands of it, he had much governing to do to restore public order, reconstitute his army after numerous defections, and repair infrastructure. An earthquake devastated his region and split rocks played havoc with travel and commerce. Roads needed to be cleared and rebuilt. Tax hikes would be considered to accomplish this and new special ops forces would be trained to respond to new potential threats.
“One Man, Jesus” was responsible for all this extra worry, work, time, money and effort. Millions had come to observe the Passover and were treated to an unexpected experience that neither they nor the world would ever forget. The One Who died on the cross and rose from the dead (as He promised!) really disrupted daily life in significant ways, making it now anything BUT normal.
That doesn’t mean people stopped doing what they normally did. They just did it differently. Even Simon Peter, who had personally been through most of it, decided to go fishing. In the process, he encountered the Risen One Who first called him to be a fisher of men!
Indeed, the Passover aftermath was sententious.