Saturday after the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord
Scripture: St. Mark 16:9-14 (NKJV)
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
The disciples didn’t believe Mary Magdalene’s account of Jesus’ resurrection. Nor did most of them believe the account of the two Emmaus disciples. In fact, it seems that, of all Jesus’ disciples, not one believed that Jesus had risen from the dead on the testimony of another. Each one had to see at least some piece of evidence for him or herself. And these were the believers! How would unbelievers ever be converted if even the believers were so slow to believe!
As always, the Word of God does everything. In His mercy God continued to send His Word to His doubting disciples, until finally the Lord Christ Himself appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief.
Even the Christian heart is slow to believe God’s promises, and we easily allow hardship and afflictions to drive out God’s Word from our thoughts. For this reason, we will never stop needing the Holy Spirit’s help in this life, to enlighten us with His gifts, to sanctify us and keep us with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. The Lord showed great patience toward His disciples and finally confirmed them in the faith. Let us hold fast to His Word in every trial and hardship, that the Spirit of Christ may continually admonish, guide, and comfort us, until we see the risen Christ for ourselves.
We pray: Lord Jesus, we believe. Help our unbelief. Be patient with us in our weakness, and grant us Your Holy Spirit to keep our eyes ever firmly fi xed on You, our risen Lord and Savior. Amen.