They still did not believe it because of joy and amazement. Luke 24:41 (NIV)
When Jesus appeared to the disciples, after the resurrection, and showed them His hands and feet, they did not immediately believe.
Remember what they went through. For three years, their whole lives revolved around Jesus. They left everything to follow Him. They walked with the Son of God, and He gave them grace, purpose, power, and eternal life.
Then it all fell apart. Judas defected. Jesus was betrayed. The disciples ran for their lives. Jesus was arrested and crucified. Perhaps the disciples hoped for a miracle. But it never happened. No one delivered Him from the cross.
What must the disciples have thought as Jesus hung on the cross, and darkness came from heaven? What did they think when they heard Jesus’ awful words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mat. 27:46). When they heard Jesus say, “It is finished” (John 19:30), did they hear these as words of triumph, or words of defeat? And when they finally heard Jesus utter, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46), did the light of their flickering hope go out?
Jesus’ lifeless body was taken down, the corpse became cold, and it was placed in a tomb. Everything they had lived for was destroyed.
But just two days later, Jesus stood in front of them again, showing them His hands and side. It must have seemed too good to be true. After all the devastation, they hardly dared to believe that He was alive.
Painful experiences can make it hard to trust. The disciples wanted Jesus to be alive so badly, but they were scared. Defense mechanisms kicked in: “Don’t set yourself up for more pain.”
Can you relate to the disciples? Do you have painful experiences with the church or with Christian people that make it hard for you to trust God?