Luke 24:36-45 (NIV)
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
What do we need to believe? Is it more evidence? More knowledge? The evidence was standing right in front of them but they still could not believe. Jesus is standing in the middle of the room speaking with them and yet they could not believe. The way the gospel writers report on this story makes one convinced that the writers were not writing a story to try and convince anyone to believe, even they were having tremendous doubts with Jesus in the room with them.
Their minds did not have room for anyone rising from the dead, even though they had witnessed several people raised from the dead by Jesus just a few months previously. Why such doubts now? Modern skeptics will argue that they were only convinced because they wanted to believe so badly that their minds played tricks on them. This is not the way the story goes. Even with all of the evidence in the minds of those who had followed Jesus were kept from believing, why?
To believe in Jesus is not just a function of someone’s mind finally seeing all the evidence and being convinced because they now see it all clearly, it is not some task any human could do. To believe in Jesus takes the very power and presence of God. John says it well in John 1:12 when he writes
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:10-13)
Finding it hard to believe? Your only hope is for Jesus to open your eyes and your mind so you can see Him. You are completely powerless to believe without His Spirit opening your eyes and mind. Why not take a moment and cry out to Him to open your eyes and mind. Take your cue from Blind Bartimaeus, “Lord I want to see!”
Holy Spirit come open my eyes so I can see,