Of all the people who heard that Jesus had risen from the dead on that first Resurrection Sunday, the disciples were the hardest to convince. The men who had witnessed Jesus raise the dead and who had heard most often from Jesus, himself, that He would rise from the dead, seemed least expectant and most skeptical. Time and time again in the gospel accounts, they disbelieve the reports coming back to them and ponder in confusion the empty tomb.
Even the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who spearheaded the effort to have Him crucified, were aware of His claim to rise from the dead and actively took steps to thwart any attempt by His followers to make His claim appear true.
Jesus’ closest friends and disciples struggled to believe in Jesus’ resurrection. When He appears to them, He rebukes them for being “foolish and slow to believe.” In the Gospel of John we read about doubting Thomas.
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I have often heard Christians say, “if only I could see the Risen Christ, my faith would be much stronger and more assured.” Yet Jesus has appeared to us! Our Risen Savior appears to us in the means of grace that He has given to the church – the Word, worship, prayer and the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We get a strong picture of this in the Gospel of Luke when two of Jesus’ disciples encounter Him on the road to Emmaus on the very day of His resurrection.
This week we examine Luke 24:13-35 to see how we may see the resurrected Jesus through the means of grace He has given us. Come and join us this week as we consider this together.
We meet this Lord’s Day, April 16, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions.
Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there this coming Lord’s Day at 5:00 pm.