Empty Grave

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What was the apostles' reaction to the empty grave?

Matthew detailed the apostle's reaction to the empty grave: "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted (Matthew 28:16-17).

Mark shares the next example of the apostle's reaction to the empty grave: "When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen."1

Luke states that the apostles did not believe the report of the women because they thought it sounded foolish. Peter, however sprinted over to the grave to see for himself, seeing the linens set aside, he went off in a quandary, pondering what had happened. Others beside the apostles had different reactions to the empty graves. Luke states that Jesus rebuked their foolish and slow hearts for not believing (Luke 24:25-26).

Jesus suddenly appears to the disciples and they thought He was a ghost; they were totally surprised and afraid. Jesus rebukes His apostles this time (Luke 24:38-39) and even showed Himself to them and said that they could touch Him. However, they were still in unbelief, so offering another proof, He took something to eat. (If He was indeed a ghost, He could not be touched or eat anything.)

John perhaps shares the most exciting account of the apostle's reaction to the empty grave: "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!' So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed."

Many things can prevent one from believing about the occasion of the empty grave. Where do you stand? Do you need proof as did Thomas?



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