It was truly a glorious day! Beginning with a sunrise service on the river, breakfast and fellowship at church, an Easter Cantata and a final message. A day to truly celebrate our risen Savior.
I have done a lot of imagining this weekend, trying to get in the hearts and minds of the people who were there. I think about how each of their lives were changed like mine when they found Christ. I thought of Mary, his mother, how hard all this must have been on her. I thought of Judas, and his betrayal, and how the guilt of his choice was something he could not live with.
Tonight I sat and read all the gospel accounts of the resurrection day. I read it trying to determine who I most identified with. It was a question brought up today during our bible study.
What amazed me was after reading all the accounts...I thought to myself, WOW, look who showed the most faith in His resurrection. It was actually the Chief Priests and the Pharisees. They were the ones who had the tomb sealed and guarded through the 3rd day, because they knew Jesus said he would rise again on the third day. They also paid for a story to be released about the disciples stealing the body. (Matthew 28:11-15)They took action because they knew of his promise to rise. They expected something to happen more than any of those who mourned his death.
Then I look at the disciples, those who followed him daily, listened to him daily, loved him completely...and they doubted. All of them. The ladies who came...they were going to anoint his body. They were expecting him to be there. They were frightened when he wasn't. The thought that he had been risen was not said. The same with Simon Peter. Even after they were told by an angel that he had risen, it speaks of unbelief.
So the difference...the relationship they had with them. They believed once he revealed the relationship with each of them, reminded them of it. He spoke their name, when he broke bread with them, when he spoke to Thomas in a way I am sure he had to many times, because Jesus knew him, He knew Thomas was a doubter. As Jesus kept his appearance hidden, it was interesting to me that he revealed himself to them with his love and relationships with them. It was the intimacy he had with them that allowed them to see and believe.
The Chief Priests and Pharisees believed it could happen all along. They knew scripture, they knew what it had said. But...even Satan believes. What they lacked that the others had, they did not have a relationship with Jesus. They knew the law, they knew scripture. They were religious!
So, sometimes I must admit I do not truly understand the scriptures or what it means for me. I think I learn and grow more as Christs works in my life as he reveals his love for me. I wonder, how often is Christ speaking to me and I am missing it? How often is he showing me something, and I stand in doubt?
I think we need a little bit of both. I do identify more with those Jesus had a relationship with. But I have to admit, I want to have some of the understanding and knowledge of scripture that the Chief Priests and Pharisees had. To blend knowledge and relationship would be empowering. (Luke 24:45) However, I know the relationship must come first...without it, knowledge means nothing.
May you always find salt and light in my words!