It’s so interesting to watch the followers of Christ enter into true belief in Jesus in such different ways. The ways these followers believed mirror how many of us come to believing faith. How did you believe?
The first to believe in the resurrection according to the Gospels was John. Thewomen were the first to discover that Jesus was risen, but it was John whoseheart first received the reality that Jesus had risen from the dead. After Maryran to tell them that Jesus’ body was gone, Peter and John headed straightto the tomb. John arrived first, being younger. He stood outside the tomb andlooked in, while Peter entered the tomb as soon as he arrived. They both observedthe strips of linen lying there and the peculiar sight of the cloth that hadbeen around Jesus’ head folded up separate from the linen. John 20:8 tellsus, "He saw and believed." The next verse explains that he didn’tunderstand from the Scriptures that Jesus had to rise from the dead. John believedbased on the experience of what his eyes saw. He believed that this was somehowthe work of God. This was belief.
Mary Magdalene believed when Jesus called her by name. At first she thought hewas a gardener and wondered if he had any knowledge about who had stolen Jesus’ body.She didn’t believe that Jesus was risen from the dead until Jesus saidher name, "Mary." It was only then that she listened to His messageand went quickly, as He had told her, to tell the disciples.
I can only imagine that the other disciples were beginning to believe after hearingabout the belief of Mary, Peter and John. They gathered together not knowingwhat to do about their belief, when Jesus appeared to them and their belief wasevidenced in the fact that they were overjoyed when He showed up among them.
Thomas believed only after exploring his unbelief. He did not believe on thewitness of the other disciples and he was not present the week before when Jesusappeared to them. He proclaimed that he would only believe if he could find empiricalevidence such as touching the holes in His hands and His side. I don’treally think he needed to actually touch the holes once Jesus appeared to him.All it took was the invitation by Jesus to touch and feel for himself and hebelieved.
Jesus foretold of the majority of believers, who believe without seeing. We believebecause of what we read in the Bible and the witness of other believers. We continueto believe as we follow spiritual disciplines and come to know Him personally.
The most important experience anyone who is born on this earth can have is tobelieve in Jesus.