How would you have felt to see Jesus die on the cross? What would have happened to your hope? Could you still believe? Would you still believe?
On that first Easter morning when Mary Magdalene found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, she went to tell Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples.
The two of them had a foot race to the tomb. John got there first, but he didn’t go in. Then Peter came charging up, and he raced right in. That gave John the courage to go in, too. (see John 20:8)
John had spent three years following Jesus all over the place. He had listened to Jesus teach. He interacted with Jesus on a very personal level. John was a part of the inner circle. Do you know when he finally fully believed?
It wasn’t while Jesus was still teaching. It wasn’t when he saw Jesus performing all of those miracles. It wasn’t even at the crucifixion. John believed when he realized Jesus was alive. He had risen from the grave, just like he said.
Jesus followers, like John and all of the others, reengaged with the message of Jesus when they realized that Jesus was alive again. The resurrection changed everything.
The disciples were cowards. They were hiding out, fearing for their lives. They didn’t expect a resurrection. But after the resurrection, they came out of hiding and went into the streets of Jerusalem boldly preaching and teaching the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is interesting that the disciples did not preach and teach the principles of Jesus or the parables of Jesus. They didn’t even preach about the love of Jesus.
When they went into the streets of Jerusalem, they were interacting with people who were there when Jesus was crucified. They were still in the city where these events had taken place. It has only been a few days since all of this happened.
Peter proclaimed they had killed the son of God. God had raised him from the dead. He said, “We have seen him with our own eyes. Now, it is time for you to repent of your sin.”
After the resurrection, the disciples emerged from hiding with such incredible boldness. These are the same guys who ran away. They hid out and denied even knowing Jesus.
They were afraid to even be associated with him after the crucifixion. But everything changed after the resurrection. Resurrections have a way of doing that for people.
Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or email him at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].