Luke 24:5–6 (ESV) … “And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee…”
A grand truth that emerges from this story, as it does in none of the other Gospels, is that the disciples did not invent the resurrection story. At first, they neither understood it or believed it. None of the Gospels tells us how Jesus was resurrected because none of the Gospel authors saw it. How did they resist creatively imagining such a spellbinding story for the Church? They resisted because they were not myth-makers but witnesses. In Alexander Maclaren’s words, “The evidential value of the disciples’ slowness to believe cannot be overrated.”
The only reasonable explanation for the apostles’ devotion, even at the cost of their own death, is:
• They saw the empty tomb.
• They met their risen Lord.
• They came to believe the Word of God: “… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, italics added).