Summary: The resurrection made the disciples afraid and ashamed at first, but Jesus gave them peace. Jesus rebuked them for doubting and that was a rebuke to all the world. Salvation or condemnation depends on believing that Jesus is risen.
Easter: The Uncomfortable Reality! Kelly Durant 3-27-16
Mark 16: 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. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
2. How many of your went to see the recent movie “Risen”? I thought it was extremely well portrayed with much detail as it was in Jesus day. It was about the story of the resurrection from the point of view of a Roman Soldier that was sent to investigate what happened at the tomb. Try to rent it or see it, it is well worth it!
My favorite part was when the Roman Soldier found the ropes that sealed the rock frayed from being burst open. This Roman knew what a cut rope would look like, but ropes burst apart? I am sure many people in Jerusalem experienced revelations that caused them to believe in the resurrection as in the story of this soldier!
The truth is no one will respect or obey a leader once they are dead if they are a liar and a con. It says in Jerusalem, a couple of years after Jesus was born, that when evil King Herod died they whole town celebrated! When Jesus died, many mourned but few really expected Him to walk out of the tomb. But on the first Easter, His resurrection transformed humanity into a celebrated victory over death. The first Easter did not exactly start out as a celebrated moment though.
3. Let’s go more into depth of the verses today. It says in Mark, “He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen”. I don’t know how you feel after getting rebuked for doing something wrong, but personally I feel embarrassed and humiliated! I would not feel too festive and happy. We celebrate Jesus resurrection today but the first encounter with Him made everyone feel afraid and ashamed of their selves.
Imagine witnessing a person die in such a horrific manner as Jesus did, and fearing the Sanhedrin might come for you, but then you see the crucified one walking around with holes in their hands and feet, I think it would make any one of us so scared we would faint. It is like when you see a ghost, you feel mortified because you know it is a creature with supernatural power. Jesus supernaturally alive contradicted what is understood concerning reality, logic, and the physically possible!
So to prove it is Himself, Jesus appears out of nowhere to sit down at the table with them to talk. In another instance, He also ate fish with them on the beach. He took time with them but despite being undeniably in this world, they doubted in the beginning. Jesus does not like to see people afraid and doubtful and many times he repeated to all who saw Him the word, ‘peace’! For the doubters and unrepentant Jesus presence brings fear, but for those who love Him His presence brings peace! John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
4. To illustrate it was not such a celebrative moment at first, recall that the disciples when they saw Jesus they were full of fear. Jesus had told them all He would be killed and then come back, but it almost seems as if none of them really believed Him. Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Imagine seeing all the miracles the disciples had seen and then still not believing that He had resurrected. Remember these are dedicated followers that had given up everything to follow Jesus, they had no hopes to go back to their old life, and they saw dozens and dozens of miracles and yet they still doubted?
It just goes to show how we cannot depend on all those who say they have experienced Jesus power to remain totally faithful and doubtless through every moment of their lives. Even the most dedicated have their weak moments but the comfort is that Jesus will still love you and receive you even though He may have to rebuke you and correct your lack of faith.