Day 43 :: Doubts
As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst. He said to them,“ Peace to you! ” But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. “Why are you troubled? ” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.”
I, like most little children, was terrified of ghosts. I still vividly remember when I thought a ghost sat on the end of my bed in the middle of the night. My heart was pounding! But it's not just children who can be terrified of ghosts. The great actor Mel Gibson accurately portraits the fear of an adult man in Hamlet, as he sees his murdered father’s ghost. Terror. Shock. Awe.
In our account today, the Emmaus road disciples are trying to tell the Eleven and the other disciples with them about their encounter with the risen Lord when Jesus suddenly appeared in the room with them. They were startled and terrified thinking that they were seeing a ghost!
But its not just terror that grips them. It's also amazement and joy along with disbelief. It seemed too good to be true. They were torn because they had been filled with hope only to have it dashed. Is this really Jesus in the flesh? Could it really be him?
It really was Jesus in the flesh. He showed them his hands and his feet. He ate a piece of fish in their presence. He wanted them to KNOW that he had risen from the grave.
This was crucial because Jesus knew that a denial of the resurrection would always be a major tactic used by Satan and his workers. If Satan could get people to doubt the resurrection, then God would be found a liar and the good news would be a sham.
But there is no denying the resurrection! The risen Jesus appeared to over five hundred people over the period of forty days, spending time with them, teaching them. And they were transformed! They changed from a fearful bunch into a bold, gospel preaching, world transforming, body of believers. They preached the cross of Christ and the resurrected Lord. We saw it clearly as we went through the book of Acts.
We, too, believe in the resurrection of Jesus. We have been transformed by the gospel of grace. His word dispels our doubts and fears. We love him. We should long to proclaim repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, telling the world about our risen King.
Passages to read: Luke 24:36-49, John 20:24-31
A thought to remember: The resurrection of Jesus is beyond doubt!
A question to ask: What doubts do you battle, and how does that affect living for the risen Jesus?
A song to sing: O My Soul Arise