Tony R. Nester
What do you think Jesus' first words were when he was raised from the dead on that first Easter morning? Maybe it was, ''Where is everyone?'' (1).
The Bible tells us that at that first Easter no one was there to welcome Jesus back from the dead. Mark's Gospel tells us that three women went to the tomb early on Sunday morning, but their purpose was to anoint Jesus' body with burial spices, not to greet him as the Risen Lord.
Not one of the disciples were expecting Jesus to be raised from the dead. Mark's Gospel makes a point of telling us of the repeated unbelief of the disciples:
verse 11: ''they would not believe'';
verse 13: ''they did not believe'';
verse 14: ''they had not believed.''
That's important. Why? Because it lets us know that the disciples were not so different from us. Most of us don't come into possessing a vibrant resurrection faith just because Easter appears on our calendars.
The belief that Jesus Christ is alive today, risen from the dead, is the most powerful belief in the world. When we believe in the Risen Christ we have a hope that withstands every disappointment and overcomes every fear. Whenever we are defeated by either disappointment or fear we have lost hold of our belief in the resurrection. We may say that we believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but it's a belief that is a mere idea in our heads and not a conviction that dwells in our hearts.
Well, O.K. I'm not here to criticize you if you don't have a powerful resurrection faith dwelling in your heart. I am here to tell you that the disciples didn't start off believing in Easter either. They got to resurrection faith in stages.
I suggest we follow the three women who went to the tomb on Easter morning -- the two ''Marys'' and ''Salome.'' As they came to resurrection faith, so can we.
The women's' journey to faith began at the cross. Mark makes a point of telling us that among the few who stayed at ...
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