This is part II of my sermon notes and reflection from the message given by Rabbi Marty Waldman at Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue this past weekend. I had wanted to post Part II yesterday, on Resurrection Day, but the day was filled with my wife and I prepping for our Meal of Messiah dinner that evening, which we hosted for some family and friends. Read Part I here.
Picking up where I left off in the previous post, Yeshua’s closest disciples and inner circle were reeling from the devastation of his death and initially couldn’t believe in his resurrection.
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. Mark 16:10-11
As most anyone can relate, dealing with pain of various kinds can cloud one’s thoughts and leave conclusions and hope unclear. This was a pain in the greatest magnitude and they had resigned in their hearts and minds to not hear any “nonsense” in light of their grim reality. The disciples are not alone in this category whether it be in a general human condition sense or in Biblical history. Read these words below by some of Israel’s greatest Prophets and men of God when they had become so distressed in their condition, even to the point of requesting God for death. They had reached the limits of their despair and judgment was severely impaired:
If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.” Numbers 11:15 (Moses)
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4 (Elijah)
Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda. Proverbs 25:20
Also, as the Proverb above could be applied, joyful or good news to someone who’s heart is crushed might not be impactful in the positive way it’s intended and could even add to the sting of the wound. So as you can see, there is good evidence from a Biblical point of view of why the resurrection accounts we’re initially rejected and not believed. It is a very natural and human expression when dealing with a calamity and struggling to come to terms with it. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long in the story of the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection for Yeshua’s promise of being raised to life to be revealed in truth by the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:1-43
As you can see in the eyewitness accounts, there was something about Yeshua’s resurrected body that made it hard for those who knew him best to recognize who he was, something was different about him, he had changed in a way that his appearance after the resurrection wasn’t immediately recognizable to those who knew him so well. It is also interesting, that it is emphasized that he was recognized in the act of breaking bread. This should not be lost on us each time we participate in the Passover, communion or break bread in fellowship that it is Yeshua who should be recognized through us.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:20
Rabbi Marty pointed out that Paul states as a fact, not just a belief that Messiah has been resurrected and fittingly Paul uses Torah terminology a la Leviticus 23:10 and the firstfruits offering that happened during Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread to parallel Messiah being the firstfruits among the dead to be resurrected.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:3
Thanks to the Messiah’s obedience to the Father’s will, his suffering, his bloody sacrificial death, burial and resurrection, we are not without hope in the world. We are admonished to consider him in our own times of suffering that by the power of the Spirit and Messiah in us, we will not grow weary or fainthearted in our trust and obedience to him.
May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah!