Summary: Doubts don't disqualify us.
Dealing with our Doubts
Rev. Brian Bill
A defendant was on trial for murder and there was strong evidence indicating guilt, but a body was never found. In the closing argument, his lawyer, knowing his client would almost certainly be convicted, made a last-ditch move. He stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all.” He looked at his watch and continued, “Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom.” He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked as well. A minute passed but nothing happened.
Finally the lawyer said, “Actually, I made up the previous statement; but you all looked at the door, expecting him to come in. Therefore, I put to you that there is reasonable doubt as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.” The jury, clearly confused, was excused for deliberations. About five minutes later, the jury returned with a verdict of “guilty.” The lawyer was stunned and questioned them, “How could you do that? You must have had some doubt; I saw each of you stare at the door.” To which the jury foreman replied, “That’s true, we looked at the door…but your client didn’t.”
In a similar way, the disciples were filled with doubts about the resurrection and didn’t expect to see Jesus walk through the door. They were convinced he was dead, even though his body could not be found. But with the door sealed shut, the Lord suddenly appeared in their midst.
As we wrap up our series in Luke’s Gospel, we’ve been focusing on the moments that most mattered. Today we want to learn how to deal with our doubts. Our main point is this: Doubts don’t disqualify us. Last week we listened in to a conversation that Jesus had with two guys who were walking on the road to Emmaus and we learned that God gives us all the evidence we need to believe and receive. This was our outline:
• Get it out
• Look it up
• Take it in
• Pass it around
As these two travelers pass around to the other disciples what was passed on to them, something incredible and stunning happens. Turn to Luke 24:36: “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” I love that phrase: “Jesus Himself” because it shows that this is the same Jesus that had been with them; He is personally present.
In our text we see the disciples huddled together in a room. It’s Resurrection Sunday and it has been an eventful day for everyone involved. It’s now evening and they’re excited, yet afraid. The disciples are emotionally up and down. They were pumped up when Peter shared that He had seen the Savior but according to John 20:19, the door was locked and bolted shut because the Jewish leaders wanted to arrest and dispose of anyone who had been associated with Jesus.