They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. Mark 9, verse 10.
We’ve debated this same thing since the day the three Apostles first did so. It’s one of the fundamental justifications that folks who struggle with faith give for why they do struggle. Do we really, truly believe that Jesus rose from death?
Join the club if you’ve ever doubted that anyone could do this. We’re in good company. Jesus’ Apostles debated it as well as evidenced by verse 10. When Jesus kept referring to His rising from the dead, they simply didn’t know how to take it. As we’ve discussed in the past, these were men who were familiar with the stories of Judaism. Perhaps they had even had minimal training in the synagogues, but it’s doubtful they were highly educated. Scholars they weren’t but they still knew the stories of the Patriarchs, Moses, Elijah, and all the miracles God had performed for Israel over the millennia. And yet they didn’t know quite what to do with this new information.
I’ll admit: sometimes I don’t know what to do with it either. See, I fully believe in Jesus. I believe everything He said, everything He did, everything He said He would do. The miracles? I believe they happened. The virgin birth? I believe it happened. The crucifixion and the resurrection? Yes, I believe they actually happened. Still, I’m sometimes stuck in the same moment as Peter, James and John, wondering what Jesus meant when He said He had to die and rise from that death. Why was it necessary? I know the ecclesiastical book answer but isn’t there something more? Why a death for a life, or a death for all lives? It’s the question of the ages.
Right now it’s a good time to remind myself that “it’s not about me.” Jesus was predicting these things so that all of us, not just me, could have a permanent, eternal relationship with Him. That’s all I need to know. Even though we struggle with how He would do this, He did it for us anyway. Yet each of us needs to eventually decide one way or another: do we truly believe? If you’re like me, even after you decide in the affirmative (something I did so long ago that I don’t even really remember when it happened) you still sometimes find yourself doubting that anyone could actually do what Jesus said He could, would, and then did.
When those doubts come, I take comfort from known that we are indeed in that good company. Even the Apostles didn’t always understand Jesus and they walked, talked, ate, and lived with Him in person for years. Not only, but (later Apostle) Paul later reminded believers that they needed to be renewed in their faith, by God, every day; see Ephesians 4:23. Doubt is human; questioning is natural. The illogical in the face of the illogical is still illogical and sends us into questioning. Yet we should always remember that faith is the beginning of reason when we realize that Jesus is the ultimate source of all truth and the truth behind every answer. Even when we doubt His truth or His miracles (like the resurrection) He is always present to renew us through faith in Him and give us the faith knowledge to press onward.
Lord Jesus, forgive my doubts, and let me find all answers in You.
Read Mark 9, verses 1-13.