New Hope Church

Day 40 – Lenten Devotional


Three Days of Doubt

Mark 14:50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.

There is hardly any writings of what happened to Jesus disciples after He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. What we do know are the following from Judas betrayal to after the crucifixion:

  • Judas led a mob to arrest Jesus
  • Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, servant of the high priest
  • Jesus commanded he put the sword away
  • Then all of the disciples ran away and deserted Jesus
  • However, Peter and one other disciple seemed to stealthily follow the mob to the courtyard of Caiaphas
  • Peter denies Jesus three times
  • As Jesus is carrying His cross only the women disciples are recorded following Him
  • At the crucifixion, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome the mother of Zebedee’s sons, Mary Jesus mother, Mary the wife of Clopas, John (the disciple whom he loved), perhaps secret disciples Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

It seems that fear struck the hearts of the Apostles. They are nowhere to be found until some of the women come to tell them of the empty tomb on the third day. What was going through their minds? Were they remembering the teachings of their master? Did they talk about the mysterious prophecy Jesus spoke of, about going to Jerusalem to die and rise again on the third day? Did they fear the same death might happen to them if they were seen and caught? Did they now doubt all Jesus had taught and done during their three year journey together?

According to the Gospels not only “Doubting Thomas” but NONE of the Apostles believed the witness of the women about the empty tomb until they actually saw Jesus!

When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fear and doubt are the first specters that haunt our thoughts. Disaster has struck their relationship with Jesus and they are in turmoil. Yet the women and a few men braved through the circumstances and perhaps provided some needed comfort. Almost nothing is known about their shaken faith from Friday to Sunday morning, but we know that, Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isa 51:11)

REFLECT: Confronting the unknown in difficult situations is a true test of faith. When you walk in these shadows remember to fear no evil, that the Lord is with you, His rod and staff will comfort you.

REPENT:  Change your ways. Doubt was not foreign to Peter, Thomas, the rest of the disciples. It will not be foreign to you. In instances of doubt their eventual remedy was to turn TO the Lord, not away FROM Him!

RESTORE:  Walking with Christ in life here on earth will always be a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Trials and tribulations will inevitably arise. How you deal with them is what counts. Rely on your faith in Christ and enjoy the ride. Hope is always around the corner. Little did the disciples know that these three days would change the world!

Romans 5:1-5  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Pastor Tom Bellhy