They did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Luke 24:11 (NIV)
It was the first Easter morning, and the women went to the tomb only to find that it was empty. Angels appeared to them and announced: “He has risen!” (24:6). So they returned and told the eleven apostles what they had witnessed, but they did not believe the women.
Peter ran to the tomb and looked inside. He saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, but he couldn’t make sense of it, so he left, “wondering to himself what had happened” (24:12). He had not yet come to believe Jesus was risen from the dead. He was simply puzzling over a mystery.
Then Christ appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (24:27). The disciples returned to Jerusalem, found the eleven, and this was their testimony: “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon” (24:34). You can hardly get a clearer confession than this. Faith was established and doubts were put behind them.
But then something strange happened. “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (24:36). They were frightened, thinking that they had seen a ghost. Jesus asked them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” (24:38). Doubt rose up and attacked their newfound faith. They believed Jesus had risen, but now they wondered if their minds had been playing tricks on them.
Has something like this happened to you? You came to faith in Christ, but now you hear nagging questions in your mind. Was it real? Did anything actually happen? Was it just in my mind? How do I know this was God? The first disciples faced questions like these. This is the relentless assault of doubt on the castle of faith; it is the dumping of doubt on the flower bulb of faith.
What are the nagging questions replaying in your mind? What set of circumstances usually provokes them?