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The Monthly Bread Archives

"He Has Risen and Appeared"

Luke 24:8-9,11..And they remembered his words, And returned from the Sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest...And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

The empty tomb did not convince the disciples that Jesus was alive! Their first reaction was similar to the opinion of our day that their must have somehow been a conspiracy to steal his body. Even Mary Magdalene who had a heart to seek Jesus diligently was blinded by the unbelief of circumstances when she ran to Peter And John exclaiming:

John 20:2..They have taken away the Lord out of the Sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him...(KJV)

Why didn't Mary know where Jesus had gone, after He had spent so much time teaching all of them that he must be delivered into the hands of men, be crucified, and on the Third day be resurrected? Certainly the first two steps had already been fulfilled concerning his death, so why would the consideration of His resurrection be out of the question? Why does Mary like so many people find it easier to believe in death than life, when their desperately seeking a way of survival anyway? Clearly the empty tomb did nothing for the strengthening of the Disciple's faith and neither will it do anything for us today. To focus on emptiness is always a faith Failure leaving us in sorrow.

John 20:13..They (2 Angel's) asked her, "woman, why are you crying?" They have taken my Lord away...

The only thing that was missing and taken away from Mary was her strength to go on in faith. She could not see the fulfillment of God's working here, and so her sorrow greatly hindered the revelation of Resurrection life that God wanted her to have.

John 20:14..At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

The sorrow here, that Mary experiences is result of all hope being lost as her future is seen to be like the empty tomb. It is equally true that unbelief will also greatly impair our hope and Joy as well, if our focus in life is always to be on the personal loss of what we don't have, instead of the fullness of life that God freely offers us now.

Jesus addresses this problem when he later expresses his displeasure and disapproval over the Disciple's Stubbornness to focus in faith on the life of God.

Mark 16:14..Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen....(KJV)

The focus of Resurrection by Gospel writers refrains from using the empty Tomb as a basis for faith simply because it doesn't work to magnify the place of emptiness. Something of substance must be put in our way if we are ever to believe. It was the appearances of Jesus rising that was clearly at the heart of early Christians and still is today. What holds true in any time is the necessity of people to behold the Lord's Resurrection life, in their own experience or the celebration of Easter will be nothing more than an idle tale for us.