Thursday, May 8, 2008

From unbelief to amazement

I read again this morning the account of the resurrection in Luke 24.

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8 Then they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened
Verse 11 tells us that at first hearing of the resurrection from Mary and others, 'they did not believe them'. But what was most interesting to read was not so much verse 12 itself but the footnote attached to it (NLT) that explains that some ancient authorities lack this verse - thank goodness our account doesn't. If the disciples had remained in the unbelief of verse 11 then why wouldn't we remain there also? But according to verse 12 the difference between unbelief and amazement is this; Peter 'got up' from his unbelief, and he 'ran to the tomb'. Perhaps when we experience doubt, or confusion, or unbelief, rather than remaining in that place, we need to 'get up and run [closer] to Jesus'. When he got there he stopped and looked 'in'. He looked past his unbelief and 'in' with faith to the possibilities of Jesus. Perhaps he was able to look 'in' only because he'd positioned himself where he knew Jesus to be rather than looking from the position of somebody elses' account - or from all that his mind could comprehend at that moment. Instead, 'he went home, amazed at what had happened' :-)

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