Sandy Patti & Larnelle Harris I’ve Just Seen Jesus
Listen to the confession of those who heard :
Matthew 28:16-17 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
Mark 16:8, 11, 13-16
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Jesus has risen. Mary Magdalene has seen him. Peter and John have seen the empty tomb. But, THEY. DO. NOT. BELIEVE. THE. REPORT! After all Jesus told them, after all they have seen in three years of following Jesus, after Mary Magdalene reports she has seen and touched Him, they REFUSE to believe. “Idle tales,” hard hearts, refusing to spread the news, worshipping while doubting. No wonder James wrote in his epistle years later about “being tossed about” due to doubt. (James 1:6) These men did not know if “they were washing or hanging out.” They were not even treading water. They were drowning in a sea of doubt!
Before we speak ill of the apostles, let us look at them. They are fearful for their lives. Their leader is absent. One of the inner circle has betrayed Jesus and then committed suicide. All of this is strangely familiar and yet, sooo not normal. It has been 72 hours of hell on earth.
What would my reaction be? I would love to think I would be like Mary Magdalene. But the truth is I would be more like Thomas who I believe was from Missouri–the “show me state.” Or, like Peter who flat out denied he even knew Jesus to save his own skin. Or any of the others except John, who are all AWOL. I wish my faith was strong enough to take Jesus at His Word. It is more likely, I would have been locked behind a door and daring anyone to utter a sound. I do not like the thought of prison cells, torture, starvation, or some cruel death.
They still do not get who Jesus is………………. No miracle has been sufficient for them. For Mary Magdalene, no other miracle would be necessary.
Jesus does scold their lack of faith. Peter probably took it on the chin. He knew he deserved more than a ‘talking too.” Jesus told Thomas, “go on, stick your hand in my side, look at the light passing through my hands and feet; go on do it. (John 20:24-29) I will prove it one more time. “ What patience He had. “Jesus said unto him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 29:20)
We can focus on their lack of faith, or we can focus on what they did after the truth dawned: THEY CHANGED THE WORLD!
Lisa Bevere author of Girls with Swords says, “The enemy is not attacking who you were in the past, he is attacking who you can become in the future. What he is afraid of is what is inside of you.” (emphasis mine) Jesus understood the spiritual battle these men were in. Chip Ingram reminds us Heaven and Hell both have an agenda in every struggle we face. Heaven’s agenda is God’s glory, our good, and furtherance of the kingdom, i.e., saving the souls of man. Hell’s agenda is the destruction of our witness, defamation of Christ, and our very demise. This is the truth of our lives as well. But hear this: JESUS HAS DEFEATED THE ENEMY! We now operate from a position of victory. The enemy has no right to us. Anything he dishes out he does so with a specific set of parameters and “nothing can take us out of Jesus hand.” (John 10:28-29) We were “bought with a price.” (I Corinthians 6:20)
The apostles heard Jesus words. They did what He said. They waited in Jerusalem on the Spirit of God to come and make His home in their hearts. (Luke 24:49) Then, they always had the Spirit of the Living Lord at work in them and they did what He said. They went into all the world to tell everyone the good news knowing they too would suffer as Christ suffered. (I Corinthians 3:16) The most striking reality of their confession is they admitted to us they doubted the report of the resurrection! They could have left this admission of guilt in the past. Think of the honesty of these three apostles as they write knowing it could be an encouragement to our times of doubt.
This same Spirit is alive and active in EVERY soul who accepts the gift of salvation as Christ provided. It is what is in us (Jesus) that Satan is afraid of! At the name of Jesus EVERY knee in heaven and hell will bow and proclaim He is LORD! (Philippians 2:10, Romans 14:11) Do you get it? Worship while you doubt is NOT an effective witnessing tool. When you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who was crucified, died, was buried, and three days later he arose, and you DO NOT DOUBT, you WILL BE SAVED! (Mark 16:16) And like the apostles, we will operate from a position of victory and authority for we have been given His Name, His Armor, and His Word. What on earth could defeat us? (Matthew 21:21) Just because Jesus doesn’t do things according to our preconceived ideas, does not mean it is not Him. His ways are NOT our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) I have said it before: If it makes sense to you, it is probably NOT God’s idea! Every single soul who has set out to discount the facts of this period of time has found Jesus and made Him Lord of their life. (example Lee Strobel The Case for Christ) The facts are indisputable. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Risen. Jesus is Coming again. Keep your eyes on the Eastern sky. Your redemption is drawing near. I cannot wait! (Luke 21:28)
Some of my friends don’t quite understand my eagerness for His return. Well, when they see Him I sure hope they understand I will not be giving them my seat on the bus home. You have to get your own ticket. This is one ticket not for sale and not transferable! Jesus has a ticket for you with your name on it. You need only ask. I pray you will because He died for Just for YOU!
We started this Easter season with this song. Let’s put a period on our study by hearing it again! The message is timeless. It is Peter’s confession and evidence of the change Jesus brings.
Happy Resurrection Day