9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. 12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
The first to see the risen Lord was not Peter or one of the apostles, but a woman noted for her demonized living! She had been forgiven much, and loved her Master greatly.
She was first at the tomb to pay her respects. Unfortunately for the disciples, they would not believe her account of the Risen Master. Jesus had to scold his apostles because of their unbelief and stubborn hearts.
Are you like the apostles or like Mary – slow to believe or quick to run to Jesus? Do you doubt because you do not see?
The Lord makes his presence known to us through the work of the Holy Spirit. He gives us the gift of faith to know him personally and to understand the mystery of his death and rising. Do you believe his word and do you listen to his voice?
After his appearance to his beloved apostles, Jesus commissions them to go and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Their task is to proclaim the good news of salvation, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations.
This is the great commission which the risen Christ gives to the whole church.
All believers have been given a share in this task – to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Jesus Christ, the only savior of the world.
We have not been left alone in this task, for the risen Lord works in and through us by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Do you witness to others the joy of the gospel and the hope of the resurrection?