Applied Biblical Truth
Living as Though He Were Dead
April 10, 2023
When we read the account of the resurrection of the Lord in each of the four gospels, we are able to gain a clear perception of spiritual state of the Lord’s disciples on the morning of his resurrection. Each of the gospel accounts gives us varying descriptions of the spiritual and emotional state of multiple disciples.
The disciples were described as “much perplexed” (Lu. 24:4), mourning and weeping (Mk. 16:10), “wondering” (Lu. 24:12), “sad” (Lu. 24:17), “troubled” (Lu. 24:38), disbelieving and doubtful through hardened hearts (Mt. 28:17; Mk. 16:13-14; Jn. 20:24-25, 27). They were forgetful, flustered, fretful, forlorn, faithless, and fearful. Their Savior had been rejected by the religious leadership, the education system, and the government of their day. The “who’s who” of this world had found no place in their world for Him, and had finally succeeded in cancelling Him from their culture. The disciples had reason to be distressed, from a mere human perspective. However, from God’s perspective their disposition of heart was unreasonable and unacceptable.
When the ladies at the tomb were “much perplexed”, the angels said, “remember how he spake unto you…”. When Jesus spoke with the two on the road to Emmaus, he rebuked them for being “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken”. Mark 16:14 tells us that the Lord “upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart”. In short, the Lord did not sympathize with their spiritual state, he corrected it. They were living as though his promises were invalid, as though he was not who He claimed to be. He had told them that he was “the way the truth and the life”, that he is the “resurrection and the life”. He had foretold his death and resurrection, yet they were more influenced by their world, than by his word. They were more responsive to current events than they were to the written and living Word of God. They were living as though he were dead.
I find that the means of their correction was the appearance of Christ. The truth of his life overcame their fear of his death and of their own. When Christ administered their correction, he did not remove the things that had brought them distress. He didn’t overthrow the religious, political, or educational elite that had crucified him. He didn’t promise them a world free of suffering or affliction, his solution was Himself.
His resurrection proved that he had overcome everything that they thought had overcome Him and them.
After correcting their spiritual disposition, he commissioned them to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. The fuel for their going was not the assurance of a better world; but the assurance that he had overcome the world, that he had all power, and would be present to the end of the world (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15).
We find ourselves in a similar state today. Many disciples are more sensitive and responsive to current events than to the written and living Word of God. This fear of man has resulted in many a disciple isolating themselves out of fear, wringing their hands in dismay, spending an inordinate amount of time speaking of the unfolding events of recent days, or looking for a way to appeal to or appease a godless world. A healthy reassurance of his life, power, and presence will empower us to do what he wants us to do. He has commanded us to announce (preach) to this godless world that He is the Victor, and they need to repent and believe on him if they are to be saved.
Just as he ascended from the grave he will soon descend from heaven. All the things that seem to threaten and terrify us have been conquered by our risen Savior. He is the Victor over Satan, sin, the world, and death! He is alive, may we not live as though he were dead.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Joh 16:33)
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Co 15:55-58)
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1Jn 4:4)
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1Jn 5:4-5)