Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
The news Mary brought should have produced great joy. It should have undid their sorrow and mourning to hear that Jesus was alive. After all, isn’t that what they wanted? They hadn’t wanted Jesus to be put to death, and they didn’t want Him to be gone. But unbelief filled their hearts. And even though it was still true that Jesus was alive, their unbelief meant they stayed in that sad, sad state all day.
And it works the same for us. Anytime we don’t believe what is true, for whatever reason, we remain in that lesser state—sadness, fear, discouragement, lost, whatever it may be. Unbelief always keeps us from fullness of joy, because the truth as it pertains to Jesus is a wonderful, amazing truth that should cause us all to greatly rejoice. It should change our current condition. It should make a difference no matter the circumstance.
The greatest truth is that Jesus is alive. The most amazing truth is that through Him we have life, too. Our sins are gone. His Spirit is with us. He’s going to prepare a place for us. He gives us abundant blessings. And He’s coming back again someday to take us home. And there are so many other wonderful promises in Scripture that are there for us to know and rejoice in. But they aren’t much good to us if we don’t believe them or we don’t believe in the God who gives them to us.
The first reaction of all who heard the news that day was unbelief. So often we don’t understand things. So often our faith is small. But Jesus keeps giving us opportunities to believe. He reveals His truth so that we can know it and hold fast to it. And it is true no matter how unbelievable it seems. So let’s not allow unbelief to fester in our hearts and lives. Let us seek the truth, believe what has been revealed, and trust the God who has given it to us.