Jun 27

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It was early the first day of the week, in fact, it was just beginning to dawn toward the first day of the week, when women started their journey toward the sepulcher where the body of Jesus at been placed. As they neared the sepulcher it was at the rising of the sun. They talked about the large stone which sealed the tomb and how it was to be moved, as they knew they could not do so.
As they approached the tomb they were surprised to see that the stone had been moved; the sepulcher was open! As they entered into the tomb, ”they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:5-6). The key words are, “he is risen!” Meaning, he is resurrected! The question at the heart of this series of articles is this, did the apostles know that Jesus was not resurrected, yet preached that he was anyway?
It is a well-known fact; many people through the years have believed a lie! People have even been willing to die, while believing a lie. However, it is wrong to put the apostles of Christ in this same category! Why so you ask? The apostles, at first did not believe that Jesus was resurrected. This was pointed out in the first article, so just one reference will be noticed here. Luke wrote, when the women told the apostles that Jesus had been resurrected: “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not” (Luke 24:11). Then, there is this point, Jesus had told the apostles before his death about his resurrection; and he told the apostles: “But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee” (Matt. 26:32). Did the apostles believe he would be resurrected? No, they did not! They did not go to Galilee after his death. In fact, notice what the angel tells the women: “And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you” (Matt. 28:7). Why did the angel have to tell the women to tell the apostles to go to Galilee? Had they believed in the resurrection of Jesus, they would have already been in Galilee, but they did not go. Thus, proving they did not believe he was going to be resurrected! So, what changed their minds? Or, did they just decide to believe a lie and start preaching a lie?
So, at the time Jesus was put to death, the apostles did not believe he was going to be resurrected! They did not prepare for his resurrection, as they did not obey him. Then, even after some of them had seen Jesus alive, at least one, Thomas, still did not believe Jesus was alive! Here is a good place to point out, they were not busy preparing a story about Jesus being resurrected, as they were a group of men without any hope. Their hope of a king and kingdom, died with Jesus. Their hope was buried in the tomb with a dead man, in whom they had placed their hope and in who their hope died! So, why in only fifty days, were they in Jerusalem preaching that Jesus was resurrected?
We have already seen that the Jews had made sure that no one could come by night and take the body of Jesus, as they sealed the tomb and put forth a guard. They knew that Jesus had taught that he was going to be resurrected in three days. It may be the case that they understood this point better than did the disciples, as the disciples gave no credence to it at all. So, here we are asking the question, did the apostles know that Jesus was not resurrected, but after fifty days went out and preached a resurrected Jesus anyway?
Did the apostles know it was a lie, but preached it anyway? Did they have anything to gain by doing so? Did they think it would make them popular? It is easy to answer these questions, as all one has to do is look at Jesus. Did he gain anything by being Jesus? Just look at the cross and there is your answer! So, did the apostles of Christ know the story of the resurrection of Jesus was a lie, but they preached it anyway? What did they have to gain by doing so? Did they gain favor with the Jews? Did they enjoy favor with the Romans? Did they become wealthy?

— Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/did-the-apostles-know-2/