Mark 16:10-13—She went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were mourning and weeping. Yet, when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. Then after this, He appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either.
Crushed—they were absolutely devastated. For three years they had grown to love, trust and hope in Him—this Son of a carpenter who claimed to be the Messiah. They listened to His parables and argued over their meaning. They watched Him raise Lazarus from the dead, walk on water, make the Sea stand still, heal incurable diseases and afflictions and expel evil spirits. He was beyond amazing! He had an answer for everything yet knew when to say nothing. And when He prayed, they knew they were in God’s presence.
They left their nets, tax collecting, and other occupations when He called them. They stuck with Him when many doubted and walked away. For their faith and obedience He promised them eternal life; homes and authority in heaven. But now He was dead. Dreams became nightmares and hope became hopeless. What left the bitterest taste was the way He died. He didn’t even put up a fight and made Peter put his sword away. The One with no fear and all authority just let soldiers bind and slap Him! He quietly absorbed ungodly abuse from supposedly godly men and instead of rescuing Israel from Roman oppression, He let them stick, spike and hang Him in the most disgraceful manner known to man. So much for being a Savior, and so much for being saved—He was betrayed and they were in shock.
Mary Magdalene saw Jesus first on that most incredible of Sundays. As their guts ached from sobbing she told His disciples He was alive. But grief is often the quencher of hope. How do you believe a woman’s preposterous report when you have already watched your Hero’s head slump in death—unable even to breathe? When two more witnesses corroborated her story, what cruel delusion affected their minds—what part of tomb residency did they not understand? O God—how could You let this happen! O God, do You even exist?
Stunned—they were absolutely flabbergasted. He traversed through their walls. As they reclined at a table, He, the One who overturned tables, rebuked their unbelief and stubborn refusal to trust eyewitnesses to His resurrection. While His words cut their hearts they also nearly burst from the profound joy pumping through their arteries. Jesus rose from the dead.
“They did not believe it.” Those five words can be reversed by three profound words--He is alive. What a difference grace makes. After scolding His followers, Jesus sent them into the entire world to share His message. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (16:16). If we say “He is alive!” this too is our calling. May the five be changed to three for the glory of the One! Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Trust is sweet. It is better than gold. Trust is always a gift of the heart, and therefore it just may be the most precious thing in life, next to love.—Don Everts and Doug Schaupp in I Once Was Lost
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)