Dive Deeper Week 4


Week 4! You have done it, and you will be rewarded for your heart to know Him and faithfulness in seeking Him. Let’s discuss some of these last chapters…


He is Risen! The tomb is empty and His followers are grappling with the situation. Some believe more readily than others.

Appears to Mary

Upon discovering the empty tomb, Matthew and Mark describe the women as having “fear and great joy” (Mt. 28:8) as “trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them” (Mk. 16:8). If there is ever a time to experience this dichotomy of emotions at the same time, this would be it.  It’s hard to imagine! No account expressly indicates that there was doubt in these women’s hearts. To be fair, they were getting the news from an Angel, so that had to have been quite spectacular. Luke said that upon hearing the news, “they remembered his [Jesus] words” (Lk. 24:8). This would have confirmed that what the Angel said is true. Shortly after, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, and she falls at His feet and worships (Mt. 28:9). Though experiencing a wide array of emotions, Mary believes quite readily.

Mary then reports to the disciples and they do not believe her. Mark 16:11 says, “Yet, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it.” Luke 24:11 says, “But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.” Luke says that Peter had to go see for himself, so he runs out to the tomb, and finding it empty, “he went away, amazed at what had happened” (Lk. 24:12) We see some of the other disciples a little more prone to doubt.

Appears to Emmaus Disciples

Now, enter the story of the Emmaus disciples. These two disciples were on their way to a village called Emmaus, discussing all the events that had taken place. Suddenly, Jesus is walking with them and talking to them, but “they were prevented from recognizing him” (Lk. 24:16). They unknowingly discussed all that had happened to Jesus with Jesus, and Jesus “interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures” (Lk. 24:27). That had to have been an amazing conversation. It wasn’t until later that their eyes were opened, and once they recognized Him, He suddenly disappeared. Then “they said to each other, ‘Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?’” (Lk. 24:32).

These disciples’ response is an example of what our response to the Scriptures ought to be. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Scriptures are the Living Word, and the Living Word is God. Just as Jesus walked with these disciples and explained the Scriptures to them, we have the opportunity to “walk with Jesus” as we read the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit interprets it for us in our hearts. I know that seems different, but it’s really the same. You can’t physically see Him, but His presence, the Holy Spirits interpretation, and the relationship we are privileged to have with Him is just as real. As we read the Scriptures, it is an encounter with the Holy God of the Universe. Yes, He is our Friend. Yes, He is our Abba Father. Yet, He is a Sovereign God whose name is Most Holy and whose presence should be entered into with complete and humble reverence. Getz says, “How easy it is to lose the deep emotional response we should have when we hold the sacred Scriptures in our hands, open the pages, and read the story of Christ’s love. Even more so, how easy it is to allow the truth from this body of sacred writings to become purely academic” (Getz, p 1341). Hebrews 4:12 captures the power of the Living Word, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Appears to More Disciples
Next, Jesus appears to more disciples. They were in a state of fear, so they even had the doors locked. When Jesus suddenly appears, “they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost” (Lk. 24:37). Matthew 28:17 says, “when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted.” Jesus addresses their doubt, and “rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen” (Mk. 16:14).

Appears to Thomas

Now, Thomas is known as “the doubter,” but in reality, many of them did not believe initially. This first appearance to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t with them. So Thomas continued to doubt until Jesus appeared again a week later. During this time, he would have had more disciples’ eye witness testimonies, but he said that he wouldn’t believe unless he saw Jesus himself. When Thomas finally does see Jesus, he responds, “My Lord and My God!” (Jn. 20:28) But Jesus does say in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Appears to Over 500 Others

Later, it’s recorded in 1 Corinthians 16:5, that Jesus appeared to over 500 other brothers and sisters.

That is a lot of witnesses. These days in court, you pretty much need only 1 eye witness to prove a story, and if you have 2, it’s a closed case and there’s no argument whatsoever. Jesus had over 500 eye witnesses that HE IS RISEN.

Questions for reflection: Which if these characters in the Bible do you tend to relate to the most? Generally speaking, do you struggle with doubt? If so, why?
In reference to the story of the Emmaus disciples: When we read and study the written Word of God, what can we do to respond with a deep sense of appreciation and desire to walk in God’s will? (Getz, p 1341).

We find ourselves at the end of the story, so now what? Well, Jesus sends the disciples off with instructions, and those instructions weren’t just for the disciples. We have been given the same responsibility.

Jesus declares to them: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (Jn. 20:21). Then he gives them the Holy Spirit to help them (Jn. 20:22), and charges them with the Great Commission.

Mark 16:15-16, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”

Matthew 28:19-20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

When we believe in Jesus and choose to follow Him, He gives us His Holy Spirit to help us, and sends us out to spread the good news of His love and saving grace with the world.

John 20:30-31, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you my believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

What we read and see in the Gospels is incredible, and it is written and available to us so that we may believe.

John closes his book by saying, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if every one of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21:25).

John leaves us with this statement so that we are in even greater awe knowing that what we do know is just scraping the surface of how great our God is.

With that reverence and awe in place: (1) we believe and live in anticipation to see Him face to face some day, and (2) we live with purpose to go out and tell the world so that many more will also believe.

Go forth… believe and tell the world…and remember, He is with us until the end of the age.
Citations: Getz, G. A. (2019). Holy Bible: CSB Life Essentials Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers.

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