Mark: According To
By Seeing They Will Believe
There is an old saying that says: “If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one around to hear it fall, does it really make a sound as it is falling?” The answer is, yes it does make a sound, but there is no witness to the fact that it fell.
There had been witnesses to the fact that Jesus had been crucified and that he had been laid to rest to in a borrowed tomb. In fact, there had been witnesses to every aspect of Christ’s life. It is this way so we can rest assured that what the Bible records regarding the life of Christ to be true. Therefore, would it not seem logical that there should be witnesses to Christ’s resurrection?
Guards had been placed about the tomb to make sure none of Christ’s followers would come and steal the body and then say he is risen. Yet these same guards became witnesses to the fact that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. This is the same group of guards that had seen to the crucifixion of Jesus. Therefore, their testimony was sure and certain, even though the priests and rulers had bribed them to state they had fallen asleep while on guard duty, an offense punishable by death. (see Matthew 27:62-28:4).
Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept, 11 and when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
Why would Jesus choose to show himself first to Mary, a woman no less, than any of Jesus other 11 disciples? Because as it said in the text, Jesus had cast our seven demons and because of her gratitude for all Jesus had done for her, she honored Jesus more than even his disciples did. For whom much has been forgiven, they will be the most thankful. Mary had been forgiven much and because of this she had spent much time at Jesus feet, not only soaking up the words spoken by Jesus but also in the washing his feet with oil and spices and the anointing his head as well. As she had done so, her tears of thanksgiving had spilt from her cheeks and so she used her own hair to wipe the feet of Jesus. By lowering her hair and using it to wipe the feet of Jesus and his head, it was considered an act of intimacy, for it was improper for a woman to touch another man and to let her hair down in public was considered an act of intimacy and was forbidden unless within their own house.
Therefore, Mary more than the others had understood Jesus’ mission more than they. Jesus chose to honor her for her act of devotion by appearing to her before the others, and then instructed her to tell the disciples.
Yet, the disciples upon hearing the words of Mary and her encounter with Jesus, failed to believe for themselves.
Jesus next appeared to two followers that were considered disciples, yet they were not part of the original twelve. They were down cast and with heavy hearts because of all that had taken place during the Passover. Their minds were filled with conflicting thoughts as they tried to understand all the events that were so freshly ingrained upon their mind. Jesus walked with them and as they walked together, he explained the prophecies regarding his life. He started with Moses and then all the prophets to explain the reason for his death and how the entire sanctuary service and festivals all pointed to Christ as the savior of the world. The Lamb of God come to take away the sins of this world. Afterward Christ revealed to them who He was, they then ran back to Jerusalem and told the other disciples and Matthew tells us that Jesus showed himself at that time to most of the other 11 and those that were there with them.
In order for rumor and false accusations to be held in check, Jesus had to reveal himself to His followers and others so that there would be no doubt that as Jesus predicted, I will destroy this temple and in three days raise it again to myself.
On the sixth day of the week Christ was crucified, on the seventh day, the Sabbath day as Christ rested from the work of creation, he rested in the grave on the Sabbath from the work of salvation. And as predicted, upon the first day of the week he rose from the dead. On Friday the atonement for our sins was established by the death of Christ on the cross. On Sabbath he rested and on the first day of the week he proved that he had won the victory over death.
Why is this significant for us? Because Christ chose to show himself to others after his resurrections gives witness to the fact that Christ gave himself for the remission of sins, and that upon his resurrection He showed that death does not need to be permanent because for all those that accept Christ’s saving grace by faith, believing that Christ paid the penalty of sin which is death, total separation from God, and upon rising from the tomb on the first day of the week, he showed that the power of death has no hold upon Christ’s followers for someday, someday soon, Christ will return in clouds of Glory to raise his faithful followers from the grave, then they along with those still remaining will be caught up in the clouds with Christ, so that they may enjoy life with their Creator and Saviour and spend life eternal with Christ.