Today we are confronted with a reality check. The reading is from Mark 16 New King James Version (NKJV).
Jesus is risen and has shown Himself to His disciples: Some women saw the empty tomb and an angel who told them Jesus was risen and they were afraid, Mary Magdalene and two other disciples saw the risen Lord Jesus Himself and these eye-witnesses went and told the the rest of the disciples but the rest did not believe the eye-witnesses until Jesus Himself appeared to them later and told them off of their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Why is it so hard to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead? These people had been following and living with Jesus prior the crucifixion. They appeared to have believed in Him being the Messiah. When He died their hope for the re-establishment of the physical kingdom of Israel was dashed. Jesus called their condition “hardness of heart”. When the heart is hard it is like the hard ground in the sower of seeds (the words of God) parable told by Jesus. The seed could not germinate or grow to bear fruits. Whatever Jesus had said to them had fallen on hard ground. They could have reaped a hundred-fold as Jesus had promised. But they failed. They did not believe in a spiritual God.
Looking back in history we marvel at the hard heart. Had we lived then would we not have believed? We would ask. The question is for each individual believer to answer. Again, the crux of the matter is do we believe in the reality of a spiritual God?
Mark Chapter 16
Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
11th week 1st day Holy Bible reading: Mark 16:1-20; Numbers 16:41-18:32; Psalms 38:1-12; Proverbs 11:7