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Jesus - No Doubt About It!

There is nothing better than the Easter season for Believers! After witnessing Jesus’ barbaric crucifixion on Friday, then watching Him laid to rest in a borrowed tomb, the faithful women who followed Jesus looked forward to anointing His body with spices when the Sabbath was over. So on Sunday morning, as daylight broke, they rushed to the tomb where the stone had been rolled away and Jesus’ body gone! 

The women were reminded by the angels who appeared to them at the tomb of Jesus’ promise when they were in Galilee- the promise that He would be crucified, but would rise again on the third day. After this, they remembered His words. They hurried to share the news that Jesus had risen with the disciples, but the disciples’ reaction was initially not what you might think! 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Luke 24:11

So why didn’t the disciples believe the women? I can think of at least three reasons. And the truth is, maybe you have trouble believing, or maybe you know someone who thinks the idea of Jesus rising from the grave seems like nonsense. Understanding why the disciples may have initially struggled to believe is important.

Why did the disciples have trouble believing that Jesus had risen from the grave? 

1)Jesus’ death had been so brutal, so absolute, so evident!

The disciples had trouble believing that Jesus had risen from the grave because they knew how He died! (Lk 23:33) Jesus had suffered an excruciating death reserved for the worst of criminals. In fact, the word excruciating literally means “out of the cross.” It was barbaric, cruel and merciless, yet Jesus willingly endured it for your sake and mine. The idea that anyone could come back from such a horrific death must have been really hard for the disciples to fathom. 

2) The disciples needed to see to believe!

When Peter got the news from the women, he wanted to find out for himself (Lk 24:12). He didn’t walk to the tomb; he raced to the tomb, though John beat him there  (Jn 20:3-4). Later Jesus would appear to the disciples, except for Thomas; so when the others told him that Jesus had visited them, Thomas famously doubted. (Jn 20:25). Later, Jesus would appear to Thomas and then he believed! 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

3) The disciples did not yet fully comprehend how the Old Testament clearly pointed to Jesus.

I love reading the Old Testament because it so evidently, amazingly and beautifully points to Jesus, the coming Messiah. I see it over and over again. This past week I saw it as I was studying Exodus with the men’s life group I lead. We were learning about God’s plan to dwell with His people and how they were to construct their worship center, His dwelling place, and what was to be in it, including the ark of the covenant (Ex 25). 

I spent a lot of time teaching about this in the Easter message, so for far more, listen to that message. But no doubt, God had a plan to dwell with us and to offer us His gracious gift of salvation through the death of Jesus on the cross! (Hebrews 10:3-10; Rom 3:23-25). It is likely the disciples had not yet put all this together, but no doubt they would! The disciples would go on to change the world for Christ’s sake! There is no doubt about it; they absolutely believed Jesus had risen from the grave; and we can too! 

What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for you and me?

1)I can have my sins forgiven!  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Why did Jesus have to die in such a barbaric, painful, ugly way? The simplest answer is this: Because our sin, yours and mine, is barbaric, painful and ugly. That sin separates us from a holy, just, and perfect God. And its penalty is death (Rom 6:23a). That’s why those sacrifices of the Old Testament were offered. Those sacrifices were required to pay for for the sins of the people because they had broken the Hebrew law again and again. The truth is none of us is perfect; we need a redeemer, a forgiver, a Savior, Jesus Christ! There is nothing you and I could ever do to pay for for our sin on our own; we could never be good enough or do enough good to be right or righteous before God! 

2) I can have power for living! (Ephesians 1:18-20a)

The great news for all who believe is that we don’t have to live this life on our own power! In Christ, we are empowered with the same mighty strength that raised Jesus from the grave! Maybe you’re struggling, weak, and broken today. Jesus graciously offers you the power you need to overcome life’s greatest hurts, heartaches and brokenness. Not only can He redeem a lost and broken soul, but He can restore a broken relationship; He can mend a broken heart; He can rebuild a broken life! 

3) I can be assured a home in God’s heaven!  (Romans 6:23; John 3:16-17)

Sadly, some people live their entire life believing that this life is all there is, but it’s not. The reality is that all of us will stand before God when this life is over and in that moment only one question will matter: “Have I placed my faith in Jesus as Savior or not?” (2 Pet 3:9) How you answer that question is of eternal significance because God will honor that choice for eternity. If you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus as Savior and Lord, you can do that today! Please reach out to me if you would like to find out more or to share your life-changing decision! 

Click here to listen to: Risen - Part 2 - No Doubt About It!  


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