"You are to say, His disciples came during the night and stole him away..." (Matthew 28:23)
"...When they saw him, they worshiped him." (Matthew 28:17a)
"... but some doubted." (Matthew 28:17b)
- The soldiers were minor figures in a bigger political game. Their instructions were simple: if the grave were to be found empty, they were to tell the public that his disciples stole his body. But even so, they played a role: a plain denial of the resurrection. And they proved to not be the only ones...
- There is another response that is totally opposite: the disciples saw the risen Savior and they worshiped him. What a wonderful response—simple—but so profound. What could have been a bigger moment in that part of church history? Worship the Lord! Worship has the root "worth" in it—value, shape, and created. The disciples wholeheartedly accepted and esteemed Jesus. They staked their happiness and security on him. They gave their hearts to Jesus.
- But Matthew tells of a third response to the risen Jesus, very human, "some doubted." The word 'doubt' comes from a root to which our words "double" and "two" are related. The disciples who doubted were inwardly divided. Though they did not reject the reality of the resurrection, they did not fully accept it either.
Note that Jesus did not condemn the doubters. Rather, Jesus overcame their doubt in a twofold way. He gave them the reassuring promise of his power and authority and he gave them a task—spread the gospel.
Doubt is found among us in many ways. We may doubt details of the Bible, or elements of our personal faith, or parts of our Christian tasks, or challenges of the Kingdom, or whether the Lord hears our prayers, or even whether we are saved. So many of our doubts stem from the one fact that we have not come to terms with the resurrection. So here is our challenge: not only to believe in the reality of the resurrection but to be aware of it, to think of it, to relate to the Lord resurrected! The Savior promises us his power. And he gives us a challenge: ponder on the Word, live the faith, express it, and share it. When the disciples saw him, they worshiped him. That gave them a quality that stayed with them throughout their lives. Worshiping him, they fanned out across the continents.