A Hard Sell

“They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.
There they found the Eleven and those with them,
assembled together and saying, ‘It is true!
The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ 
Then the two told what had happened on the way,
and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. 
While they were still talking about this,
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 
‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened,
thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, 
‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 
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.’ When he had said this,
he showed them his hands and feet. 
And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement,
he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 
They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 
and he took it and ate it in their presence. 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.
Luke 24:33-44 (NIV)

There is an art to selling anything from a material product to a concept. From a car to an idea. As we read the accounts of the resurrection appearances of Jesus it appears that the reports of Him rising from the dead were not easily believed by the disciples. Doubting Thomas was not the only one who had trouble with the reports of Jesus coming back from the dead. Indeed, from our Scripture today, it seems the Eleven had trouble believing even when Jesus appeared alive to them. Words like, “startled, frightened, ghost, troubled, doubts” describe their confused state of mind. For the disciples it was a hard sell to get them to believe Jesus was alive from the dead. Finally, Jesus asked for some food to eat and then they were convinced He was indeed alive.

When I was studying in university some professors taught the class that the Gospel writers invented the resurrection stories to try and persuade the readers that Jesus should be followed. They never dealt with the matter that the narratives described how hard it was for the disciples to accept the doctrine of Jesus’ resurrection. They were a hard sell as they only believed after proof positive was given. It took a lot for the early Christians to be persuaded of the truth that our Lord was indeed risen.

Does your faith in the accuracy of the various accounts of the resurrection appearances not strengthen due to seeing how hard it was for the Eleven to accept this truth? The writers go into detail concerning how resistant they were to being sold on the teaching that the Lord was indeed risen.

Rejoice today believer in the persuasive witness to Jesus coming back from the grave. He rose to prove the debt for sin had been fully paid. All of your sins were completely dealt with from your first sin in Eden to the last you will commit in your dying hour. Fully paid, completely absolved, nothing left for you to answer for!! Jesus indeed paid it all. Be glad today you will not have to atone for even one sin. What a complete Saviour we have.

Come to Him today and be fully persuaded He is all you need today and forever.

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots,
And melt the heart of stone.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim—
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
My lips shall still repeat.

-Elvina Hall

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