Sermons

Summary: G. Campbell Morgan said, "The resurrection is a fact that cannot be proved except to the faith of the heart." The evidence must be approached with faith, or it will not convince the skeptic.

Ministers frequently call at a home when the man alone is there, and he will respond in some such

manner as this: "I'm sorry my wife isn't home. She takes care of the religious matters in our home."

I have not just read about this, but have experienced it, and have wondered how it is possible to be

so misinformed about the Christian life. Men in general seem to think that spiritual matters are for

women to handle. Men tend to be more skeptical, and women tend to be more sensitive to spiritual

things. Eve may have gotten the problem of sin started, but men seem to have the biggest part in

hindering God's solution to the sin problem. For some reason men feel that faith is feminine and not

to be associated with the strong and self-sufficient image of the ideal man. Religion has the

reputation of being a crutch, and no man wants a crutch, for he wants to walk on his own.

This attitude has had an effect on the lives of even those men already committed to Christ, and

has made them timid. The message of Christ's manliness is missed, and even Christian males slip

into the background, and let the women do the work. It is no joke, but actual fact, that many male

responses to the call for missionaries is, "Here am I Lord, send my sister." Statistics reveal this to be

far from fictitious. Dr. Barton was not just trying to be funny when he wrote,

In the world's broad fields of battle,

In the bivouac of life,

You will find the Christian soldier

Represented by his wife.

He was serious, and was stating a well known fact. However else men are superior to women, they

are statistically inferior in their commitment and devotion. Nothing could be more unprofitable,

however, then to rant and rave about the problem. More profit, I am sure, can be gained by

recognizing that this has always been the case. It is not new, but has been a characteristic of men

from the start.

The very group of men Jesus hand picked to be the foundation on which He would build His

church were of like nature. They were the first body of skeptics in the Christian church. If they had

not been convinced by the personal appearance of Jesus in their presence, they would not have

believed in the resurrection. If Jesus had not soundly rebuked them for their skepticism, they would

have been the greatest hindrance to the advancement of the cause of Christ. The fact that Jesus did

go to this length to convince them shows that in spite of the fact that men are more skeptical and

harder to convince about spiritual realities, yet, they are responsible for the leadership of the church.

They were the foundation, and once convinced they were dynamos of devotion. Men are harder to

win, but when they are won they are of greater power, and power is what is needed to make

Christianity appealing to other men. There must be a Christ-centered manliness for the church to

appeal to the masculine mind. We want to consider how hard it was to even bring the Apostles to a

state of belief and commitment to the risen Redeemer. In contrast to the devotion of the women, we

see in the men, first of all

I. DESPAIR DISPLAYED. v. 10

While the women, who are supposedly more emotional, were up early and out actively doing

something practical in the face of the great tragedy that had struck them, the men, most of whom had

fled, and, as far as we know, did not even see the crucifixion, as did the women, were setting idle

mourning and weeping in despair. They thought they were really going to be something, and now

the whole thing has proven to be a failure, and they are left with no leader, humiliated and helpless,

and with no further hope of establishing a kingdom. They are sad sheep without a shepherd.

Despair had immobilized them. They were in the slough of despond. If the discovery of the empty

tomb had depended upon them, the world would have long remained in darkness and ignorance.

Someone has said, "Despair is the greatest of our errors." This was certainly true on this

resurrection day. All day long these men were in sorrow when the greatest event in history had

taken place. Christ was alive, and they were the key servants of this living king of kings, and yet

they lived in despair. These men give us a picture that is parallel with what is true in millions of

lives in every age. The good news is available, and eternal life in heaven, and abundant life now is

potentially theirs, yet while this good news is either unknown or unbelieved, they gain no benefit,

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