Believe It Or Not

Sunday, March 31, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Christ Arose"1 (Lyrics)

Mark 16:9-11 – 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. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they had heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. (NKJV)

In the 'seventies, I worked in England, and every other year, we would come back to Canada on home leave. Many times, when we returned to Europe, I would take a little present for the people who worked with me in the office.

One year, I took some nice little jugs of maple syrup. I explained to them what maple syrup was, that they could put it on their pancakes, and that it was very tasty.

They asked me where it came from, and I told them that it came from a tree and that it is harvested in the late winter. I explained that holes are drilled in the trunks of maple trees, and a spout is driven into these holes. The sap drips into a pail hung on the spout, and this sap is then evaporated, and what is left is maple syrup.

The recipients listened attentively and nodded as if they understood. Maybe they did, but one fellow did not believe me; he just could not believe that syrup came from wood. I tried and tried to convince him. I explained it to him over and over again, and I told him that what I told them was true, but he just would not believe me. I told him, "It is the truth. You can believe it or not."

Shortly after the resurrection, Mary Magdalene told the others that Jesus was alive, but as the Bible says, "They did not believe." That is the way it was then, and that is the way it is now. But the resurrection of Jesus is one of the best-attested facts of history and the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Over 500 people saw Jesus on one occasion, so it was not a hallucination. His enemies might have produced His body to disprove it. Unlike previous Jewish movements that had collapsed, the one led by Jesus was propelled after the leader was killed. And most of all, the fact that many witnesses of His resurrection were willing to suffer martyrdom rather than to renounce the resurrection, shows how convinced they were of its truth.

What a wonderful revelation the story of Easter is to all who believe! It gives us the assurance that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He arose a victor over death, and that through that very fact, we can have peace in our hearts now and hope for the future.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we hear the wonderful story of Easter again, we pray that many will believe the truths of the Bible. We pray that You will give us the strength and the ability to tell people about it, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Absolutely true. Amen! Blessings.

    Wonderful Easter reminder Joel. Thanks for sharing.

    Joel, thank you for sharing with us. May God continue to bless you and may you have a Blessed Easter.

    Dear Joel;
    I really liked your devotional from today. Thank you for writing it.

    Hi Joel.
    Thank you for the nice connection between the maple tree and the Word. It is verily a case of out of the strong comes sweetness. As an immigrant to Canada I became a lover of maple syrup very soon and it beat Golden syrup which was our former sweetener hollow. May the crucified but risen Saviour ever remain the sweetest to us.

    Thank you for your devotional this Easter Sunday, Joel.
    As I began reading it, I thought I knew the analogy you would be drawing, but it wasn’t exactly so. My thought was that you were going to draw a similarity between the beauty that came from the pain of nailing Christ’s hands and feet, with the “pain” (for lack of a better descriptive word) of drilling a hole in a living tree. Both having to do with believing…..but not the same.
    A good devotional. Thank you and Easter Blessings to you and your loved ones.

    Dear Joel,
    At first I did not understand what you meant by your sentence: “His enemies might have produced His body to disprove it.” When I first read this sentence of yours I understood it as if you were saying, “His enemies could have shown his body and the showing of the body would have disproved the resurrection.” I asked myself, “How could his enemies have produced his body?”
    I hope you can fix this sentence so people cannot misunderstand it as I misunderstood when I first read it. You need to make people sure you are not saying what I at first understood you to be saying.
    Otherwise, I found your devotional to be very fine, helpful and true.
    Thank you.
    I pray that God will continue to bless you in writing and in your whole life.

    Hello Joel,
    I hope that you had a Blessed and Happy Easter today! Thank you for your submission as it was most interesting to read.
    I especially found your illustration about your gifts of maple syrup and the disbelief you encountered to be both a unique and excellent manner to help us appreciate, in a way, how Mary Magdalene must have felt as she told of seeing Jesus resurrected and being met by so much disbelief.
    There you were, telling the truth that syrup comes originally from trees — why would you say it if it were not so? All you were doing was sharing knowledge you knew to be true yet knowing the hearers were not believers.
    Even those of us who have not tried to explain where maple syrup comes from can imagine how it might sound to someone who has not ever witnessed tree tapping, and the processes that change sap into syrup!
    And with Mary Magdalene, there she was sharing the truly wonderful news that Jesus was alive — why would she say an untruth? One would think there would have been immediate rejoicing. Instead her news initially fell upon unreceptive ears.
    It seems that we humans are still creatures who must, like Thomas, witness something first-hand before we truly believe, instead of having a child-like faith.
    Do continue to write and share your submissions to the Daily Devotional!
    God Bless.

    Good Morning Joel:
    A day late in reading your devotional, so much going on yesterday with sunrise service, church service, dinner and then watching the climax of the movie “The Bible” last night. BUT what a beautiful Easter Day devotional it was. What more can one say, your words “What a wonderful revelation the story of Easter is to all who believe! It gives us the assurance that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He arose a victor over death, and that through that very fact, we can have peace in our hearts now and hope for the future certainly assured us” is indeed the gospel in the nutshell. Praise God for your fine penmanship.
    Have a wonderful week and thank you for your devotional of interest, truth and challenge.

    Good Evening Joel:
    A little late in replying to your beautiful message but after reading it over several time I just had to tell you what a wonderful assurance your words, “Jesus is the son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He arose a victor over death, and that through that very fact, we can have peace in our hearts now and hope for the future” gives to those of us who believe and indeed are a great challenge for those who do not know Christ as the risen Lord and Savior.
    Continue to present the gospel in word and the Lord will truly bless you.
    Have a pleasant spring and God Bless.

    Dear brother Joel,
    Thank you for the wonderful article “Believe it or not”. I am blessed reading it. I pray for God to bless you abundantly in every aspects of your life and help you to write more such articles to edify the body of Christ.
    God bless you.

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