First of all, I would like to start this off by letting you know that this is in no way a question on why it should or should not be believed. My basis for this question is why these particular people who believed in Jesus and saw the things that were claimed to have happened in the gospel were so shocked. I mean come on, seriously, they believed he raised others from the dead and walked on water, but somehow it is crazy to think he could not do it to himself. I could not for the life of me wrap my head around this. So being the person that I am, I had to devise a plan on how to wrap my head around this and understand what the difficulty was.
My first curiosity was whether or not the people in question saw the other supernatural events that are spoken of in Mark and the other gospels. I decided to reread the passage and it turns out that I happened to have overlooked the part that clearly stated that these people had “been with him”. So that quickly answered that question. However, it did not help me get to the bottom of who exactly these people were. So of course, determined as I am, I decided to look a little deeper. Google pointed me to this same story in the other gospels. In John’s account, (John 20:11-18) a little more light is shed on who Mary told her story to. Turns out it was the disciples. So Mary literally, as explained by http://biblehub.com/mark/16-9.htm,” was an apostle to the apostles”. This answer only made me all the more frustrated. So I decided to take a new path.
My next problem with this passage to me was the obvious fact that the resurrection must have been prophesied about, right? I decided to find the prophesies of the resurrection in the old testament. Why look for prophesies? Well the disciples were once Jewish. Jews study the old testament and surely there is some type of scripture that would foretell this event and thus cancel the shock value right for these men right? I have news for you…there are no clear prophesies of the resurrection. Let me make this even more weird…the birth of Christ is prophesied and crazy particular details of his death are prophesied, but NOT the resurrection. According to a post on http://www.reasonablefaith.org/old-testament-prophecies-of-jesus-resurrection, “these passages in the Old Testament just are too obscure, too ambiguous, for them to come up with the sort of resurrection belief on that basis”. An example of one of these “obscure” and “ambiguous” passages is in Hosea 6:2 which states ““After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him”. I mean maybe this alludes to the future resurrection of Jesus, but who knows?
Well that did not help answer the question either did it? It gave a vague, possible reasoning for the disbelief. I figured I could at least look for a second opinion. I stumbled upon http://www.anointed-one.net/die4alie.html. This particular article states that the writer believes that the disbelief came not necessarily in the resurrection but in the death of Christ. According to this source, the people following Jesus believed that he would reign as King and save the people from the powers of the day. His theory is that the death started the real doubt in the hearts and minds of so many. That since he died he must not be who he said he was and therefore could not have risen from the dead. Now this explanation makes perfect sense on one hand. The problem with this theory is that the whole death part was prophesied.
I have pretty much come to a point where I have to stop looking. Not every question has an answer. Sometimes things just puzzle us and always will. Today, this is one of these things. I believe the Rolling Stones said it best:
PS I really like cat photos. Not cats just pictures of them. So to keep with the tradition of my last blog, here is an awesome cat!