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Minister’s Message: Resurrection reactions

Jesus showed that God’s word is for our comfort and counsel.

By Mitch Glover

For the Peninsula Clarion

Reactions to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ varied. Those who heard him say he would rise again did not remember. Those anticipating that possibility were opposed to Jesus. They asked to secure the tomb so that it stayed occupied. When it proved empty, they paid the guards to say his body was stolen.

The body of Jesus was hastily prepared for burial by Joseph and Nicodemus. Early the third morning, devout women made their way to the tomb for more burial preparation. Sad, tear-stained faces turned to wonder when they encountered an angel who told them Jesus was risen.

The Bible says the women at the tomb were “perplexed and afraid.” Mixed in their emotions was “fear and great joy.” They “trembled and were amazed.” Their weeping soon turned to rejoicing.

Mary stood at the tomb weeping, thinking she saw the gardener. When Jesus said her name, she realized he was alive.

After Mary’s report, Peter and John ran to the tomb. Peter went right in and saw the grave clothes lying empty. John then entered and believed. Others struggled with their belief.

Hearing about the Resurrection, they thought it was “idle tales.” They continued to mourn and weep. Mary told them of seeing Jesus, yet they believed not.

Even when other disciples saw the risen Lord, they “worshiped but some doubted.” Doubted? How could doubt remain when they actually saw him?

Maybe this referred to Thomas. Absent when Jesus appeared to other disciples, he wanted to see the nail prints. Jesus again appeared to them, saying, “Peace be unto you.” This time, Thomas was present. Jesus told him to touch his hands and his side, to “be not faithless, but believing.” Thomas believed and said, “My Lord and my God.”

Two men trudging along the road to Emmaus were joined by a stranger. They didn’t know it was Jesus. They told him of the crucifixion three days before. They said certain women found the tomb empty and angels told them Jesus was alive. Others confirmed the empty tomb, but didn’t see Jesus.

Jesus shared scriptures concerning Christ, which no doubt comforted them. At Emmaus, they invited him to stay with them. When Jesus blessed the bread and broke it, they recognized him, then he was gone. “Didn’t our hearts burn within us,” they said as they reflected on Jesus opening scriptures to them.

They quickly returned to Jerusalem in spite of the darkening sky and the 14-mile round trip. They told the other disciples, “the Lord is risen indeed.”

Just then Jesus appeared saying, “Peace be unto you.” Again he turned to scriptures, and opened their understanding. This pattern continued through 40 days wherein Jesus showed he was alive with “many infallible proofs.”

Jesus showed that God’s word is for our comfort and counsel. We can turn to those promises and principles to be encouraged. Much more was yet to come because of his Resurrection.

Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10-11, “that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection…by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” I hope that is your reaction to the Resurrection of Jesus as well.

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