We kick off our series on the Resurrection with a look at the doubts of the disciples. Jesus appeared to all eleven of the disciples in the first week after his crucifixion. Devastated by the way he died, it is no wonder that the doubt that he has risen. What do you do with your doubts?
Revelation 1:9-18 John,
The beloved disciple, is nearing the end of his life. Exiled to the Island of Patmos, the rulers hope they will end his influence. An old man, he sees a vision of the one he loved so much. He was there for the crucifixion, the resurrection, numerous other meetings and the Ascension. Now he sees Jesus Christ again as Jesus describes his Second Coming.
Have you ever been ashamed to look another person in the eyes because of something you said or did? Peter wrestled with a variety of thoughts when he heard that Jesus was alive. Ultimately, Jesus knows that Peter is going to need some special attention to break past his shame. Don’t we also need the truth to set us free when we have sinned or hurt someone we love?
Saul was so committed to his faith and his rejection of Jesus that he persecuted the early church. On the way to Damascus to arrest more Christ followers, Jesus arrests him. Everyone in Saul’s group heard the sound but did not know what happened. Only Saul hears from Jesus, but his life is forever changed on that road. Saul’s conversion is a profound proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Judas is such a sad figure in the Easter narrative. How did he get so far from Jesus when he was a firsthand witness of his miracles and teaching? Do you think he stopped to think about what he was doing when he betrayed Christ? Did he recognize that Satan was taking control of his life? Judas misses the resurrection because of his shame and guilt. What could keep you from experiencing the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
How did the two disciples walk all the way to Emmaus while talking with Jesus and not recognize him? Their hearts were burning within them as he talked about the scriptures. It wasn’t until he broke the bread that they understood. Verse 16 says they were kept from recognizing him. We pray that people would be softened to believe in Jesus.
Mark 3:21-22, John 7:1-5, 1 Corinthians 15:7, and James 2:14-26
James and the other brothers of Jesus were embarrassed by him and thought that he was crazy. This same James will gather with the disciples to pray and wait for the Holy Spirit after the resurrection. He will also become the leader of the church in Jerusalem as the Christians begin facing persecution. Eventually, James is martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. He challenges us to live by faith demonstrated in works.
Those who watched Jesus ascend to heaven
(Mark 16.19,20; Luke 24.50-53; Acts 1.3-8)
“We go forward with hope and joy because the King of the universe promises that He will never leave or forsake us. If we want to experience greater transformation and the joy of following Jesus on mission, we should build our confidence on the finished and sufficient work of Jesus Christ. The resurrection and ascension testify to the completion and perfection of His work.
“We are equipped with the Holy Spirit to be on mission for him”.