Seeing is Not Believing

A book could be written, and most assuredly has (an understatement), attempting to composite the gospel accounts of the resurrection into one, Paul’s teachings on this pivotal event in Christianity and what it means to us (1 Corinthians 15), and how the Lord’s adversaries reacted to the news (Matthew 28:11-15).

Luke, the historian, matter-of-factly tells the story simply in a few verses (Luke 24:1-12), without a lot of histrionics. Again, the women get the first look, and the body is not there. Seeing this, they were not described as terrified, but perplexed, or at a loss. The word is used elsewhere with the enhancement “very,” but not here.

Suddenly two men appeared in dazzling clothing. The word could also mean frocks that were gleaming or luminous. Now the women were affrighted, or in modern language, terrified! One commentator pointed out that two angels were sent to deliver the news to serve as the necessary number of collaborating eye witnesses. They told the now astonished women this,

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words. Luke 24:5-8

In Luke 9:44-45, indeed Jesus’ issued a warning to the disciples,

“Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.”

But the women were listening in at the time and took notes, and likely, or certainly, talked about it amongst themselves. So, at the very moment the angels made their announcement, the women “remembered his words.”

They then hurried back to the apostles and all the rest and told them what they saw and didn’t see, what they heard, and of course, the men found what they were reporting “nonsense,” and they did not believe them.

12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:12

Peter had to see for himself, and the Lord was indeed not there, and Luke says he went home marveling, or in wonder, perhaps to tell his wife. But we all know, from other scriptures, that he was likely intercepted by Jesus for some unfinished business. (see 1 Corinthians 15:5)

It seems to me that even if the women, the disciples, and Peter didn’t see the actual risen Jesus, what they did see, did not see, and heard was enough. And guess what, all we get today is the Word of God.

Thankfully, God was gracious enough to give these who had the most exposure to Him (and us), in the hours and days to come, tangible evidence of his resurrection. But…

29 Jesus said to him [Thomas], “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:29

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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