“It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”
The context of today’s verse passage sits very near to the center of our Christian faith, namely, the resurrection of Christ, the Lord of glory. All four Gospels record that early on the Sunday following his crucifixion, the Lord’s tomb was found empty by a group of His women followers. These ladies were understandably shocked and perplexed to find the tomb empty. Suddenly, two angels were dispatched to the tomb to confront the women. Luke describes their reaction: “And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, [the angels] said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen,” they continued, “remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee Saying, ‘The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ And they remembered his words” (Luke 24:5-8). Instantly, the ladies made their way to the apostles and told them what they had just experienced. Regrettably, the Lord’s chosen apostles acted the part of unbelievers. Apparently, they had not remembered their Master’s words. Admittedly, the woman’s claims were somewhat fantastic, but then again, these men had over 3-1/2 years of experiencing the fantastic while under the Lord’s tutelage. Though we can sympathize with both groups, experientially we are more akin to the ladies whose witness was regarded as “idle tales.” We do indeed affirm all that is in the Scriptures, fully prepared to see our witness to the unbelieving world met with scoffing and incredulity. In one of my debates with an atheist, I asked him what the biggest obstacle was to his believing in the resurrection of Christ. He responded that he couldn’t believe in the resurrection because he had never personally experienced anything like it; it was too out of the ordinary. Then I asked him a barrage of questions: “Have you ever witnessed a universe popping into existence out of nothing?” “No,” he answered. “Have you ever seen inanimate matter coalesce into a living system?” Again, no. “Have you ever seen one animal evolve into another?” Nope. “Ever see rationality come from that which is non-rational, or morality come from that which is non-moral?” Never. “Have you ever seen molecules in motion, limited and local, create abstract, universal and invariant laws of logic, mathematics, and morality?” Inconceivable! Even so, he continued to cling to his baseless faith commitments! Yes, the Bible contains a surprising account of history, but when laid against the atheist’s nature myths, we can see which one looks more like idle tales! May God help us to believe and give witness to His perfect word boldly, faithfully, and without compromise!
God bless and encourage you today,