But we hoped that it was he who should have redeemed Israel: and besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
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Cornelius a Lapide
But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel from the power of their enemies, e.g, from the power of the Romans.
"We trusted that he had been the Messiah who would have restored the kingdom of Israel to the same, or even greater, dignity than it had possessed in the time of David and of Solomon. But now that he has been so unworthily put to death, although we do not despair, we have but little hope."
This was their grief, the wound which their faith had received, which Christ desired to hear from them, in order to heal.
"0 disciples," says S. Augustine (serm140 De Temp.), "ye were hoping, therefore ye do not now hope. Behold Christ lives, but your hope within you is dead;" and again, "He was walking with them as their companion, and yet was their leader and guide."
And beside all this, to-day is the third day, &c. For Christ was crucified on the sixth day, and after three days rose from the dead. This is an aposiopesis, for the disciples, anxious and perplex...
We hoped as if they had lost their former hopes, or now knew not what to hope for: but perhaps, as St. Augustine observes, they might use this caution speaking before a stranger. (Witham)
These two disciples were in the same error as the other Jews; who expected that the Messias would deliver them from subjection to strangers, and re-establish them in their ancient liberty. The cross and passion had been a subject of scandal and fall to them. They say, we did hope; as if their hopes were now at an end. What increased their diffidence was, that Christ had promised to rise again the third day, and some of the women had said that he really had risen. But they expected as public and glorious a manifestation of his resurrection, as his death had been ignominious and known to the whole world. Behold, now this is already the third day since these things are passed: if he had wished to manifest his power, he should have done it already. Thus the disciples reason, as if the third day were alre...