“Have you heard the news?” In today’s tech-hungry world news travels faster than ….. Events get reported on almost sooner than they happen. (Actually in some cases false reports mysteriously ‘leak out’ to well connected reporters.
Had the events of that first Resurrection Day happened this year, how would the events be covered? What Facebook pictures would be posted? Surely the disciples would not be posting ‘selfies’ seeking to impress their ‘followers!’ What collection of 140 characters would have been ‘tweeted’ through the twitterverse? What live coverage would the news channels offer trying to capture with accuracy a sense of ‘being there?’
The early followers of Jesus were filled with fear and wonder. The small group of women who had trudged to the tomb now came running, breathless I’m sure, with the news of an empty tomb. John 20:3 describes Mary Magdalene running to Simon Peter and John declaring, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Peter and John appear to ask no questions. Was it the Romans? Did Pilate grant permission for this removal? Did the Jewish leaders petition their Gentile masters for the right to do all this?
Peter and John had to see for themselves. How quickly they sped to the site to gaze upon strips of linen and a folded up burial cloth. For John, who pens the fourth gospel, seeing was believing. Sadly, it wasn’t the Scriptures that had persuaded them but rather a first hand encounter.
How could they have missed the predictions of Jesus through over three years of ministry? How could they not ‘connect the dots’ from the Old Testament that the Christ had to rise? Consider the Scriptural evidence
John 2:19 “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
John 10:17-18 “…I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
Matthew 16:21 “…that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
Matthew 17:23 “They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.”
Matthew 20:19 “…and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
The predictions had been made and were now fulfilled by the greatest Prophet the world has ever known.
The conquest had been accomplished by the greatest Conqueror the world has ever known.
As you read the resurrection accounts, do you hear what I hear? I hear faith. I see seeds of trust bursting through the surface in the lives of those whose hearts Christ was opening to the truth of the gospel.
On this Easter Sunday, may Luke 24:45 be fulfilled in all of us. “Then he (Christ) opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” The sound of fresh faith will certainly burst through our lives into a world that so desperately needs a risen Saviour!