September 18, 2020 – Friday
Luke 24:9-12 NIV
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Some background is necessary to establish context for the verses above. First, Jesus died on a cross three days prior when He was crucified. After His death, He was buried in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea. The tomb was sealed and guarded. Yet on the third day after Jesus’ death (24:1-8), On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words.
That is come context. The tomb was discovered empty the women who went to bring spices to add to His body to reduce the smell of death; two men (angels) appeared to them and said He is not here; He has risen! They also reminded the women that Jesus had said, The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. That was when they remembered His words and returned to the disciples and told them everything that they had seen and heard.
What is amazing is that the eleven and all those with them, they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Why is it amazing? Because the same thing the angels told the women that Jesus had said, He had said to His disciples at least three different times that are recorded in scripture, The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. He told them on three separate occasions He would be killed and then rise on the third day. The last time He told them was just before He entered Jerusalem as the Messiah on the colt of a donkey, only days before His crucifixion.
Still, with this background, when the women told them about the empty tomb and what the angels had reminded them of what Jesus had said, they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
Why not? No one really knows, but perhaps it was because they the horror of death by crucifixion and it was hard to imagine someone rising from the dead after such a death. They knew Christ had raised two people from the dead, Lazarus and the twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus, but these were people who had died, not put to death. Lazarus had died and been dead for four days before Jesus raised him from the dead. The daughter had been dead for only a short while, yet her spirit had departed, and Jesus had it return to her body. Two quite different examples from Jesus being nailed to a cross after having been flogged by the Roman soldiers. Two ‘natural’ deaths and the other very ugly. Thus, I will give the disciples a bit of a break for not believing the women or understanding what Jesus had said about rising on the third day.
Nonetheless, they all came to believe when Jesus appeared among them, except Thomas who was not there. In fact Thomas did not believe even when the other disciples told Him Jesus had appeared to them saying (John 20:25), Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. Thomas was a hard man who knew what death on the cross meant, so he wanted proof, incontestable proof. A week later when he was once again with his fellow disciples, he got his proof. It was then (John 20:26-27), Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas exclaimed, My Lord and My God! In Jesus’ reply to Thomas, He passed on a blessing to us, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (emphasis added).