“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
These disciples on the road to Emmaus knew that the tomb was empty but didn’t understand that Jesus had risen, and they were filled with sadness. Despite the witness of the women who visited the empty tomb, a fact verified by other disciples, and despite the prophecies in the Scriptures of this very event, they still didn’t believe.
Why did Jesus call these disciples foolish? Even though they well knew the prophecies, they failed to understand that Jesus’ suffering was his path to glory. They could not understand why God did not intervene to save Jesus from the cross. They were so caught up in the world’s admiration of political power and military might that they were unprepared for the reversal of values in God’s Kingdom—that the last will be first, and that life grows out of death.
The world has not changed its values: A suffering servant is no more popular today than two thousand years ago. In spite of two thousand years of evidence and witness, many people refuse to believe. But we have not only the witness of the Old Testament prophets; we have also the witness of the New Testament apostles and the history of the Christian church all pointing to Jesus’ victory over death.
Today the Resurrection still catches people by surprise. Many find the Resurrection irrelevant to their lives, because they either don’t believe that Jesus will return to earth or that his return is no longer imminent. For them, seeing is believing. But since God has provided the Holy Spirit, we have to rely on faith, rather than sight. How do you show the difference God’s presence, through his Spirit, has made in your life?