The question: in Acts 1-2, what are the apostles feeling and fearing now that Jesus is gone? How do they react? This is a long one, so I’ve hidden some of it behind a “more” tag.
The initial reaction to Christ’s resurrection seems to be that the political victory they have desired has now come (1:6) but instead they are told that the political power was not yet coming (1:7) – instead, they would receive the Holy Spirit and become the witnesses of Christ to the world (1:8). We can see that m any of Christ’s followers, while seeing him as a teacher, also saw him as their (potential) political and military leader as well, expecting him to restore Israel to its former power and glory, expelling Rome and its armies, and freeing the nation.
For many then, this must have come as a huge disappointment, perhaps disillusioning them to the other teachings of Christ. And so the initial fallout starts – first with the political zealots who saw Christ as a purely political leader. Those who remained at this point had to shift their focus away from all of that onto the spiritual implications of what they were told. They were to receive power, this Holy Spirit, and they would use this power to bear witness of his deeds and words to the world. Of note is that Christ immediately covers all ground here – he starts with Jerusalem and Judea, the provinces near where he was, where many of his followers had been or came from. He starts by saying in your own houses and neighborhoods, then goes to Samaria – geographically close, but culturally very different – and then adds “and to the end of the earth.”
He has just taken these people out of their comfort zones. He’s said that the power they now have will take them to places they’ve never been, to places they don’t want to go, but would still be there and working even in their own homes. This would have different effects on different people, and thus I suspect that the apostles and his other followers all reacted differently to the news. Someone like Thomas was probably trying to process what it meant, what he would have to do, while Peter was thinking of where he would go. But what’s interesting here is that the first thing they do after hearing this news is not to talk about it, or immediately go act on it – instead, they return to the place where they have been staying, about a mile away, near Jerusalem, and the remaining apostles (along with about a hundred other Christ followers) meet in an upper room and elect a new apostle.