Luke Ch24 v1-12
The story of Napoleon’s bodyguard, who lay on the surgeon’s table with a bullet lodged in his chest, “Go a little deeper,” he said as the surgeon attempted to remove the bullet, “Go a little deeper and you will find the emperor.”
In Luke ch24 v11, the disciples did not believe the word of the women that Jesus had risen. They were hiding in fear, discourages, disappointed, all their hope was lost; they were scattered like frightened sheep. The scriptures taught that this would happen (Matthew ch26 v30-31). Jesus was referring to the prophecy of Zec 13v7. Every one of Jesus disciples would stumble; either by denying Him or by running away and hiding, but all would stumble and suffer in their minds and hearts from ‘dullness of memory and would be slow to believe.’
That’s what was happening here; they accused the women of speaking nonsense, i.e. “idle tales”, and they did not believe them. After all, the last time they saw Jesus, He was condemned to death, crucified by Roman soldiers on a cross, pronounced dead and put in a sealed tomb. The brutality of the Jewish authorities drove them to hide in terror.
In Luke ch24 v4-6, we see the appearance of and hear the words of the angels – “Remember how He spoke to you!” (Mk 8v31; 9v31; 10v32-34). The angels were correct, three times Jesus spoke to them privately about His suffering, death and resurrection. His words got swallowed up in their fear and circumstances and they stumbled and failed to remember the promises of Jesus.
It’s so easy for us to take our eyes off the person of Jesus and the words of Jesus, only to fall into this dullness of memory. It’s so easy to allow our circumstances and fear of sickness etc. to swallow up the love of Christ and His promises.
The Importance of Believing
“Don’t stop believing” – there is an important message in this song. (Jn 14 v1) The disciples forgot these words of comfort and did not put them into practice, in fact, they done the opposite and fell apart. They allowed fear, satan, suffering and the sight of death to swallow their faith. They allowed these things to rob them of the love of Christ and His great promises. Don’t stop believing, and don’t stop building your faith and belief up, don’t stop sending time with Jesus. Don’t stop spreading the good news of Christ.
In John ch14 v15 we learn that the disciples failed to keep His commandments, they failed to abide in His love. We all know how much Jesus Christ loves us, but how much do we love Him?
The story is told of a young artist, who brought a picture of Jesus, which he had painted, to his Master Dore for his verdict upon it. Dore was slow to give his verdict; but at last he gave it in one sentence: “you don’t love Him, or you would paint Him better.” That sentence should be directed to us as well, our heart and soul should be unto Christ and the picture we paint to others of Him should reflect the true Christ. How much do we love Him? Love is measured by commitment and action.
The rewards of believing are great (John ch11 v37-43). This statement was not only directed at Martha but also to all His disciples. To believe is to see the glory of God. This miracle referred to two things. Firstly, it was to show who Jesus was – the Messiah, the Son of God, this is the glory of God. And secondly, it was a preview of the power which would be fully displayed in the final resurrection when all the dead hear the voice of the Son of God and live (John ch5 v25-29) (McArthur). If you will remove the stone from your heart and believe, then you will see the glory of God.
In John ch20 v3-10, what made Peter and John run to the tomb, just after they refused to believe the women, instead calling their testimony nonsense? Verse 8 tells us that John saw and believed, he was the first of the eleven to believe.
This morning we are not here to answer the critics’ or the skeptics’ questions, we will do this later, we are not afraid of this. We are here to stand firm with the disciples upon the promises of God and declare “we serve a risen Saviour who’s in the world today, we know that He is living, no matter what men say.”
There are three great and marvelous truths witnessed in Acts ch2 v32-33. “We are all witnesses” of His resurrection; of His eternal presence; and of His Holy Spirit. Like the disciples, we live with the reality of a risen, living Saviour in our hearts. We also live with the reality and great expectation of believers resurrection. We live and wait for that glorious day when we will be changed to be like Him (1Cor ch15 v51-58).
Remain in the promises; hold fast to the truth; walk firm in the victory; stand fast in the gospel message, and rejoice. He has risen!