April 19 I Tuesday
2 Samuel 6-8
“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.…She went and told those who had been with Him.…When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.” —Mark 16:9-11
When confronted with the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Roman guards bore witness at risk of their own lives, but then they chose to reject the truth and started to spread a lie. The religious leaders exchanged the truth of who God is for a lie. They displayed a stubborn refusal to accept the message of Jesus no matter what evidence was provided to them. While all this was taking place, there was another group that witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. The women—Mary Magdalene and the other Mary—were also at the tomb and went to tell the disciples what happened.
Mark tells us, “When [the disciples] heard that Jesus was alive and that [Mary] had seen Him, they did not believe it. Afterwards Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either” (Mark 16:11-13). The response of the disciples to the witnesses of Jesus’s resurrection was the opposite of the religious leaders. For the religious leaders, their sin was not unbelief, but belief that sought to replace that truth with a lie. The disciples’ problem, however, was purely unbelief. They refused to believe, even after multiple witnesses were sent to them, choosing to believe a lie that Jesus was still buried in the grave.
How could the disciples not believe? On multiple occasions before His crucifixion, Jesus explicitly told His disciples that He would be handed into the hands of the elders to be crucified, but on the third day, He would rise again. He gave them the same evidence and testimony that the religious leaders had. Yet, the disciples exhibited less faith than the religious leaders did.
After multiple witnesses testified to the resurrection, Jesus Himself appeared to His disciples. Mark 16:14 records, “He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” Despite Jesus’s harsh rebuke, it is comforting to know that Jesus makes space for our doubts and disbeliefs, meeting us where we are at and leading us to a better understanding of the truth.
Unlike the religious leaders, when the disciples embraced the truth of who Jesus is and the reality of His resurrection, everything changed—not only did they believe it, they treasured it above all else. They oriented their lives around it, and lived for His purposes, His will, His agenda and His desires. Do we show that we treasure who Jesus is through the way we live our lives?
Prayer: Precious Jesus, I treasure You above all else. I pray for Your Spirit to help me orient my life according to Your purposes, Your will, Your agenda and Your desires. Thank You, Jesus.