The disciples were not prepared to believe in the resurrection, even though Jesus had predicted it. When he died, they went into sorrowful and fearful hiding. When he rose there was hope, yet not a sense of faithful confidence. It was when the disciples met the risen Jesus that faith sprang into eternal existence.
I sorrow for those who proclaim Christ but doubt or disbelieve the resurrection. Theirs is a “faith” of philosophy served by a hermeneutic of skepticism, philosophical syllogisms, and clever turns on words. They often separate Jesus from Christ, taking one to be historical, the other metaphorical. They are, sadly, like those to whom Paul preached in Athens:
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered…(Acts 17:32a)While modern-day Athenians in the Church do not all overtly sneer, their rejection of the clear reality of the Resurrection must certainly be an affront to God. Thankfully, on that day in Athens, not all mocked the resurrection:
…others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” …(Acts 17:32b)This particular Easter was a reminder to us at the Kirk of the power of Christ through difficult times. While we’ve struggled with denominations, we’ve not struggled with who is Lord. Once again, in worship, we met the risen Jesus. Three thousand strong came to worship at the Kirk last Sunday, the highest attendance we’ve ever had on one Sunday. It reminds me that human arguments may seem powerful, but it is faith that has true strength.
Keep praying—keep the faith,
PS My son-in-law remarked on the Kirk's vibrant Easter saying, “Not bad for a church 'in schism' and 'internal division.'"