DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Why were Jesus’ disciples so depressed after He was put to death? Hadn’t He promised them that He’d comeback from the grave? Why didn’t they believe Him?
DEAR H.G.: Yes, Jesus repeatedly told His disciples that He would be put to death, but then would be raised from the dead. He promised, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life” (Matthew 17:22-23).
And yet even when He told this to them, they didn’t understand what He was saying, and they soon forgot. They were too preoccupied with what was happening to them at the moment, and they also couldn’t grasp what He really meant. After all (they might have said to themselves), no one ever comes back from the grave. The Bible says they didn’t recall His words until after the resurrection (see John 2:22).
Why is this important? First, it confirms that Jesus really rose from the dead. Some have tried to explain away the resurrection by claiming the disciples simply talked themselves into having a mass hallucination, but that wouldn’t happen to people who were convinced they’d never see Him again. The angels’ announcement was true: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6).
Second, the disciples’ failure should remind us of our own failure to understand or believe everything God has told us. How often - even today - have you forgotten God’s promises to be with you and help you? Have you even turned away from Christ and refused to commit your life to Him? Don’t ignore any longer what Jesus Christ did for you by His death and resurrection, but by faith receive Him into your life today.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
ActiveStyle, Pages 24 on 04/21/2014
Print Headline: ON CHRISTIANITY