Jesus said to the disciples, “Thus it was written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:46-48 NKJV
Imagine the disciples’ dismay as they saw the Lord Jesus go to the Cross. Their leader was gone. They expected He would set up His earthly kingdom. Instead Jesus wore a crown of thorns. Killed between thieves, Jesus lay dead in a rich man’s tomb, as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 53; Matthew 27).
They didn’t understand Jesus’ words that He would die and then rise again in three days. They saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, but had anyone ever raised themselves? How hard it was for the words to be real to them.
Then Sunday morning came. Resurrection Sunday! The faithful women who went to anoint Jesus’ body discovered the empty tomb! An angel of the Lord told them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell the disciples that He is risen from the dead…” Matthew 28:5-7 NKJV
The disciples thought the women’s words were idle tales. Jesus appeared to the two on the road to Emmaus, to Simon, and to the disciples in the upper room before they believed Jesus was alive! (See Mark 16; Luke 24; John 21)
Believing in the risen Lord changed the disciples’ lives! No longer fearful and hiding from authorities in a locked room, the disciples became courageous for the message of Jesus, making disciples and teaching people to obey Jesus.
Would I have believed the women? Would I have been like Thomas and doubted all of the reports? Thomas did not believe until Jesus came saying “Reach…look…Do not be unbelieving but believing.” John 20:24-29
I believe that Jesus is God and that he died and rose again. It is the day-to-day living I struggle with. Sometimes I forget that Jesus’ promises apply to me. Remission of sins…My head agrees, but how quickly I listen to the devil’s accusations that I am not good enough or obedient enough for God.
Jesus promised “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. When things are going badly, it is hard for the words to be real to me.
If I lived like I believed Jesus was always with me, would I be fearful when facing difficulty? Should I instead trust Him in all things? Yes, in all things.
How about you? Do you believe that Jesus is the risen Lord? Do you doubt like the disciples did? Or do you stand firm in God’s promises?
Let’s bring our doubts and fears to Jesus. He triumphed over the grave! Is there anything too hard for Him? Jesus can change us!
Dear Lord Jesus, Please help me to trust You in all things. When trials come, help my heart and my head to both say “I believe in You, and that You keep Your promises.” Forgive me of my doubts and attitudes that reflect me and not You. Help me be a witness for You. Amen.
Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. Blogs post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience. The previous devotional follows this one on the web page.