I am Matthew, an apostle of Jesus. I was a tax collector before Jesus asked me to follow Him. The choice was easy. I was probably one of the most hated people in the world, collecting money from people—sometimes taking more than I should have. I forced people who were struggling to give me money, possessions, favors—I used my power to take advantage of people. And then, Jesus came into my life & forgave me AND asked me to follow Him. I learned so much from Him: to help people, to show love & kindness, to be forgiving & tolerant.

I felt so secure with Jesus. Hundreds of people would gather to hear Him speak. They loved Him and, in turn, loved me & the other apostles. Going from town to town with Him made me feel famous, like royalty. People would cheer for us. They would welcome me into their homes. Jesus talked about the Father in heaven and how our lives would be in paradise. I felt safe, holy & confident.

But then, everything changed. One of us, Judas, betrayed Jesus & helped turn Him over to the authorities. Suddenly, Jesus wasn’t the great leader—He was tortured, trialed and sentenced to death. During our times together, He told us that He would rise from the dead after three days. When He spoke, I believed that anything was possible. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that what He said to us was truthful & that God would be there for us.

Well, Jesus has been dead for two days now. All I know is that I have never been more scared in my life. I have been hiding with the other ten apostles for days, since they arrested Jesus. Every time there’s a knock at the door or a sound outside the windows, we all gasp in fear. I’m so afraid that the authorities will come & arrest us all. I saw what they did to Jesus, making Him walk through town as they whipped & cursed Him. I saw what all of the people who used to love Him were doing to Him that day—spitting on Him, cursing Him, throwing things at Him. Even though I ran back to our room to hide, I heard they nailed Him to a cross & let Him hang on it until He died. If that’s what they did to Jesus, our leader, what will they do to me?

I believed Jesus when He said He would rise from the dead, but now I feel lost that He’s not here. I feel so alone. Some of the apostles feel the same way. I want to have faith but I am so unsure & scared. I am praying for the three days to be over & for Jesus to come to me.