Hope and doubt
Which comes first: belief or doubt? So often, they seem to coexist in a fluctuating balance. I believe the things spoken through the Bible, I believe I was created for a purpose, at the same time; I doubt my abilities, my obedience, my value. But something I know is: my doubt does not change the things that are true. How I relate to the truth, does not change it. Even when we are blind to the truth, it is still there, beckoning us.
In Mark 16 we see how those closest to Jesus, reacted in perfectly human ways to his resurrection.
16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[a]
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Even though they spent time with Jesus and he told them what to expect and they put their hope in him, they doubted that the resurrection happened.
This isn’t much different than us sometimes. Even though the Bible tells us exactly where we will all end up if we are Christ Followers, we still often wonder if we will ever see it come to fruition. We definitely cannot even fathom the greatness of what waits for us. For this Easter Sunday, let’s remember what has been made possible to us through the resurrection of Jesus.
Amanda Simmonds is a founding plant team member at The Table. For the past 5 years she has also used her gifts serving on the Leadership Team. Currently, Amanda's role is in the operations of The Table and also organizing our Small Group Ministry.