Posted by: glorifyhim1 | April 8, 2015

After Easter

After Easter

 

This past weekend believers around the world rejoiced and celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet after that very first Easter, Jesus’ closest followers were found sorrowful, confused, and afraid. They had walked with Jesus; listened to His teachings; watched Him as He healed the sick, calmed the sea, and even raised the dead. The disciples had listened as Jesus prepared them about His coming death and resurrection. Mark tells us that Jesus “began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). Yet when the events Jesus predicted actually came to pass, they failed to believe.

 

  • Luke records that when the women took the news to the disciples that Jesus had risen, the words of the women “seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them” (Luke 24:11).
  • Mark records that Jesus appeared to two of them as they walked into the country. These two then “went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either” (Mark 16:13).
  • One of the disciples, Thomas, was not present when Jesus had presented Himself to the others. When they told Thomas they had seen Jesus, he replied: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe (John 20:25).

 

In fact, even when Jesus Himself appeared where the disciples were gathered, Luke tells us: “Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you.’ But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit” (Luke 24:37).

 

Why do you think the disciples were slow to believe? While we are quick to question their lack of belief, in all honesty, aren’t we a lot like them? Sometimes, we don’t believe either – and for many of the same reasons.

 

  • The disciples were afraid. They were hiding because of their fear of the Jews. Does fear sometimes cause us to reject and, thereby, not believe what God has told us in Scripture?
  • The disciples didn’t always understand or comprehend Jesus’ teachings. Does our lack of understanding contribute to our unbelief?
  • The disciples had their own scenario of how things were supposed to work out. They were envisioning Jesus as reigning as a victorious king – not dying like a thief on a cross. When my ideas about what I think my life should be are rearranged by God’s plans and purposes, am I challenged to believe God?
  • Thomas wanted to see before he would believe. Does my lack of sight keep me from believing?

 

Do we allow our fear, our lack of understanding, our plans and desires, and our lack of sight to keep us from believing God? Easter reminds us that God had a plan. As Paul told the Galatians: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). After Easter we’re reminded that we have a choice. Do we believe? Do we believe the prophets who foretold God’s plan long before Jesus was born? (see Isaiah 9). Do we believe Jesus who came to do what we could not do for ourselves? (see 1 Peter 3:18). Do we believe the eyewitness accounts of those who saw Jesus alive after the crucifixion? (see John 20-21). Do we believe the truth of God’s Word that we, too, are chosen. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:3-4). And do we believe that God has a plan for each of our lives? (see Jeremiah 29:11).

 

Those early disciples were slow to believe, but as they were confronted with the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection, they became fearless and totally committed to doing what Christ instructed them to do. Will we do the same? Will we choose to believe, take Christ at His Word, and be totally, completely committed to Him? I pray that I will.

 

 

 

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