Good Company in Disbelief

Not believing really is part of it.

From the very start everyone struggled with thinking Easter was true. The disciples did not start there. Just look at where they were at immediately following Jesus’ death.

Luke 24 brings out disbelief in the closest of Jesus’ followers. We see it first in the women who went to the tomb. Mary, Joanna and another Mary they were going to anoint the dead body of Jesus, as was the custom. They saw him die on the cross. They saw them put the body in the cave and the stone rolled shut. There was now no belief in him being the Messiah.

Yet as they encounter the angel he retells them what Jesus had numerous times told them, “The Son of Man must betrayed, delivered into Pilate, crucified and on the third day raised to life.” The women had missed this each time he had told them about the cross.   It hadn’t sunk in to their souls and begun to form into faith.

“Then they remembered his words.” NIV. At that point they moved from disbelief to belief. They recalled the moments Jesus had foretold them about these events and chose to consider it true.

However, they were hardly the only ones not believing. They were in good company with the Apostles.

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had given up the dream. They were walking when under stealth Jesus came alongside and engaged them in conversation. In their dejection they stated, “But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:21 NIV. They surmised their was no reason to continue with fantasies of Jesus’ greatness. They too had sunk into disbelief, joining the women.

That’s not the end of the account because when Jesus breaks bread with them he opens their eyes and they recognize him. Pumped they run to the other disciples to attest what the women had told them!

There’s one more group that was holding on to disbelief. The very night that all these encounters happened, the other Apostles were in doors when Christ appeared before them. You might think that would be enough for them to move from disbelief to belief.

It wasn’t. At this point, they had the word from three women that an angel said Jesus was alive and they had the two Emmaus hikers attesting they walked with Jesus that day.

So the other disciples that night first think Jesus is a ghost. Still unconvinced they weren’t able to get to faith when Jesus showed his hands and feet. Touching him was not going to get them there.

Finally, Jesus proves it to them by eating a fish.

The women and the men’s testimony didn’t help, the appearance of Christ himself didn’t, Jesus talking to them didn’t and the nail holes in his hands and feet, all these could get them to believe. But eating a fish did. Weird.

All this tells us how hard it is for us to move from disbelief to belief. We stubbornly hold on to only what see and of what we are convinced. Christ’s words to us are the same one he spoke then, “Why are your troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” Lk 24:38 NIV

We all start together by not buying in to the faith. If you don’t believe the truth of Easter, you are in good company. Everyone starts there. Some folks move on.

Where are your doubts? …that Jesus existed? …that he rose from the grave? …that he truly took care of all your sin? …that there is purpose for you today?

May the Lord Jesus continue to remove all of our doubts so that you and I can have the kind of Easter Sunday these men and women on that day. Happy Easter!

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