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Why Do Some Doubt the Resurrection of Christ?

In our daily meditations, we are looking at the resurrection of Jesus when He appeared to the disciples in the upper room while they ate. Here's the passage again:

36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." 40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence (Luke 24:36-42).

Why would the disciples still doubt that Jesus rose from the dead after John and Peter's testimony, or Mary Magdalene and the other women (Matthew 28:9), as well as the two disciples on the Emmaus road? Was it the lack of evidence? Was it a lack of faith? What causes people today to doubt the resurrection of Christ?

Many people do not try to find answers to their questions about the resurrection of Jesus. For some, it is not doubt but unbelief. This distrust of the evidence rests more in the will than the mind. They make a conscious decision not to believe. Unbelief is a sin when it is a choice of the heart. The enemy, Satan, is quick to sow doubtful thoughts and suggestions into our minds, and we have to choose whether or not to believe God's Word or Satan's doubts. If you have doubts, do not hesitate to examine and seek out the facts concerning the Gospel. There is evidence at every step for the Christian faith, but there is a point when one must cast themselves into the hand of God and choose to believe or reject the Gospel. Martin Luther said: "The art of doubting is easy, for it is an ability that is born with us."[1]

God doesn't have a problem with your doubts, but He does have a problem with willful unbelief that shuns the truth and refuses to reach a conclusion when presented with the evidence. Henry Drummond once said: "Christ distinguished between doubt and unbelief. Doubt says, 'I can't believe.' Unbelief says, 'I won't believe.' Doubt is honest. Unbelief is obstinate."[2] If you lack evidence for faith in Christ, be sure that the Lord is near and wants you to know the truth about Him if you are willing to hear the truth. If there is an openness to the truth in the deepest place of your heart, the evidence will come if you seek Him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

Jesus manifested Himself in their midst and showed them His hands and feet (Luke 24:39-40). I wish I could have seen their faces as He had them look at His wounds. Maybe one day, we will be able to view those marks of love when we finally get home. Luke notes the joy and amazement on the disciples' faces as they took in all the evidence of the visible, bodily presence of Christ (v. 41). They must have wondered if what they saw was too good to be true. They felt the nail prints as He held out His hands to them while going around the room.

Have you ever wondered why the scars remained in the hands of Jesus even though His body was totally healed and resurrected? The marks of love remain for all to see. How wonderful that the God we serve bears the scars of love on His body. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Keith Thomas.

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Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke, study 66. Jesus Appears to the Disciples.

You also may enjoy watching the YouTube video, Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

[1] John Blanchard, Gathered Gold, Printed by Evangelical Press, Welwyn, Herts, England. 1984. Page 71. [2] John Blanchard, More Gathered Gold, Printed by Evangelical Press, Welwyn, Herts, England. 1986. Page 79


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