by Lisa M. Prysock
Do you ever feel afraid to share the gospel, to believe, or to take on an active role in sharing Christ with others in some way? You are not alone my friend. Sometimes I wonder if my books or any of the other things I do within the body of Christ are making any difference at all.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we can and are making a difference. Sometimes it’s hard to step out of our comfort zone and try something new. Other times, it seems like anything we might commit to might be exhausting, in addition to uncomfortable. Not to mention, we may face persecution from our friends and family for sharing the gospel.
I know of at least two ladies who may have felt this way when they had an encounter with Jesus and tried to share it with others… and the others were not just any believers, these were the disciples! Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were among the first to go to the tomb and find it empty because Jesus had risen from the dead! They went to anoint the body of Jesus with spices and along the way, worried about who they might find to roll the stone away. It was very early in the morning. The Bible says in Mark chapter 16 that it was at sunrise when they came to the tomb.
Then they suffered a joyful shock to discover the very great stone had been rolled away and on the right side of the sepulchre, there sat an angel clothed in white. These are beautiful details that encourage our faith in God’s Holy Word. We know that it was sunrise; we know the stone was very great; we know the angel was sitting on the right and not the left; and we know that the angel was clothed in white.
Reading this account in Matthew chapter 28, we discover that there was an earthquake as the women neared the tomb and as the angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone. In this account, we know that the angel sat upon the stone. In both accounts, we find out the guards became as dead from fear when these events transpired. We also discover that the angel’s countenance was bright as lightning and his raiment white as snow.
The angel explains that Jesus has risen from the dead and isn’t there. He invites them to come inside and see the empty tomb for themselves. After this amazing discovery, Matthew says the women then ran with great fear and joy to tell the other disciples. They run right into Jesus on the way! Now they are completely ignited with joy and running even faster to tell the disciples. The Lord tells them to tell the disciples and Peter, He will see them in Galilee.
The disciples are weeping and mourning when these brave and devoted ladies arrive with this news. They do not believe their story. They don’t believe yet that Jesus has risen from the dead. Their reactions must have broken the hearts of the women who had seen Jesus with their own eyes. I’m thinking Mary Magdalene was thinking, just you wait and see! She may have been washing the dishes with some emotional vigor and wondering what the Lord would think of their unbelief. She may have had to endure some insults and the doubts of the others that may have made her feel inferior. Meanwhile, the chief priests and elders are busy giving a bribe to some of the soldiers to tell a lie to the governor (and anyone else that asks them) that the disciples have stolen the body of Jesus.
Galilee is to the west of Jerusalem. I believe the disciples then began to make the journey toward Galilee as Jesus had instructed Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to tell them, even though they didn’t yet believe this new report that Jesus was alive. I can hear it now! “All right Mary, we’ll go to Galilee if you stop pestering us, but only because it’s not safe to remain where we are. Until we see for ourselves, we don’t believe your story…”
As they make this journey, Jesus appeared to two more of them in the countryside, but the disciples still didn’t believe the reports. One night, maybe in the very next day or so, while having dinner together, perhaps in Galilee or still on the way there, finally Jesus appears to all eleven of them. He upbraids them for their unbelief. I believe He wanted them to have a greater trust in each other.
Nonetheless, Jesus is extravagantly merciful. After the scolding, He passes on down to them the greatest calling and honor of every disciple and Christian ever given: The Great Commission to go into all the earth and preach the gospel to every creature making more disciples of Christ, baptizing them in the name of Jesus. Hereby we know each of us have a role to fill in this great call in some capacity or another.
I hope this encourages you as much as it does me. We know that the disciples were very effective; that God sent help to them with many more new Christians like Paul and others; that He promised nothing would hurt them; and that the Lord confirmed their work with signs and wonders! The book of Acts is filled with accounts of their astounding growth and the miracles that the disciples performed in the name of Jesus.
Yes, at first the two Mary’s had to suffer the unbelief from those around them, but eventually, the truth was made known to all of them. We need not fear. We may suffer on the earth for a short time in our work for Christ, but along the way, many will come to know Jesus and great things will happen. He sees your suffering, your discomfort, even the smallest sacrifice to be obedient to Him in being a part of this work. Nothing else is as rewarding as being a part of building His Kingdom. Eventually, all will know the truth. I hope you had a blessed Easter and Resurrection Sunday and are as ignited as ever to do something wonderful to spread the gospel, pray for others, and share the love and truth of Christ in all you do. I know He will not leave you! He is with us even unto the end of the age.
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. Mark 16:7, KJV
Lisa M. Prysock lives in the countryside of beautiful, rolling Kentucky just outside of the greater Louisville area near horse farms and four board fences with her husband of 19 years. She homeschools the two youngest of their five children (three grown). She and her husband live in an average, two story, Colonial style home they are continually updating– with a funny looking Heinz 57 dog; an adorably dainty lady cat; two teenagers; a vegetable garden; numerous flower beds; and a tree house undergoing a remodel. When not in teaching or writing mode, she is teaching herself to play the piano and violin. In regards to that, she laughs: “It’s a pretty painful process, but I’m truly enjoying it!”
Lisa loves all things old-fashioned and has adopted a slogan of “The Old-Fashioned Everything Girl.” A few of her interests and passions include doll houses, long dresses and hats, gardening, reading the Classics, butterflies, swimming, walking, working out, cooking, sewing, crochet, cross stitching, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating, and drawing. Recently, her husband remodeled a room in their home with a picture window overlooking a valley which contains a creek and wooded area, transforming the space into a serene and sublime writing office/sewing room. “It’s a great source of peace and inspiration for me… and pure joy not to be writing from the busy kitchen amidst the household chaos on a laptop. Growing teenagers eating every five minutes makes for a constant stream of happenings!”
Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of To Find a Duchess, an Inspirational Regency Romance; a Victorian Christian Romance Series which includes Hannah’s Garden: a Turn of the Century Love Story and Abigail’s Melody; and ‘The Lydia Collection,’ which includes The Redemption of Lady Georgiana (a Ruth love story of modern day Regency proportions), Protecting Miss Jenna (an Antebellum Era Christian Romance Adventure), and Persecution & Providence (a ‘Jane Austen-ish’ mail order bride story from the Pioneer Era). She is also the author of a devotional/Bible Study, Arise Princess Warrior and recently released The Shoemaker, an Old-Fashioned Regency Christmas Romance. Lisa writes clean and wholesome literature that shares her faith in Jesus Christ. She is a member of ACFW and Louisville Christian Writers. You can find out more about Lisa at: www.LisaPrysock.com