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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Listen while you read: "Christ Arose" (Lyrics)