7746 - In Disbelief
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Each of us must decide for ourselves if we are going to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead.
Our past studies in the book of Luke have been a blessing. Now we are in the last chapter. We have walked through the rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders. Then came his agony in Gethsemane, his arrest, then his seven examinations before being sentenced to death. His death was a time of darkness, but this was the very purpose of Jesus coming to earth, taking on human flesh, living a sinless life –– all for the purpose of paying the penalty for the sin of mankind by dying in our place, giving his blood to wash away our sin.
But that was not the end of the story. Death could not hold Jesus. The tomb became empty when Jesus was resurrected.
Today we look at the joyful bewilderment of the friends of Jesus, after the angel appeared to the women and explained that Jesus was risen. He is alive!
Listen to Luke 24:9-12. We’ll also consider some of John’s record.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus & the disciples, had walked through this perplexing experience with one another after his burial. They had prepared spices & perfume with which to anoint the body of Jesus when the Sabbath was past; but when they arrive at the tomb it was open and the body of Jesus was not there.
Two angels had met them and explained the resurrection, even reminding the women that all of this was told to them and the disciples before they left Galilee.
There must have been haste in their trip back to tell the disciples all this. Notice there were several women who were involved, but Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James are identified. These women were involved in ministering with Jesus and to Jesus in Galilee.
Now they had the joy of bringing this good news to the Apostles. Keep in mind, no one had yet seen Jesus, but the angels had said he had risen.
We can imagine the confusion when all these women arrived at the place where the Apostles were gathered. Can’t you hear all of them talking at once, but at least the Apostles got a rough picture.
The Scripture tells us that their words sounded like nonsense to the men.
Luke tells us Peter put aside restraint, jumped up and ran to the tomb. John’s gospel tells us that John also ran with Peter to the tomb. John arrived first but stopped outside, and looked in. He saw the grave clothes lying where Jesus had been.
When Simon Peter arrived he entered the tomb and saw the grave clothes. The head piece was rolled up and placed apart from the others. Then John entered also. John writes that when he saw all this he believed that Jesus had risen.
John writes that they did not yet comprehend from Jesus’ words that he was to rise from the dead. They had heard; Jesus had told them, but the concept of resurrection was totally new and their minds had not grasped the depth of meaning.
Since Jesus was not present they went back to their home shocked in their minds. Perhaps they wondered about where Jesus was if he was risen and was now alive? Would they get to see him?
At this point Jesus had not been seen by any of these. The dimension of faith was being called upon in a new manner. Faith is absolutely necessary to experience a relationship with Jesus. Faith was now to be extended beyond the cross. Now people would look back and believe; whereas, in the past the saints, in faith, looked forward to the Savior’s work of redemption.
Let us remember, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)