“Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (John 20:8-9)
Sometimes it is difficult to communicate the message that Jesus died and rose from the dead to people who do not know Him. It defies logic. And yet the proof of this great miracle rests upon the testimony of eyewitnesses who, at first, could not make sense of the reality of what Jesus had accomplished. His resurrection is the greatest miracle that He ever performed. It also serves as the most convincing evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. And that is cause for great rejoicing. We see that joy in John’s account of the events following the resurrection, but not immediately for, as we know, the disciples had experienced great fear and confusion because of the crucifixion. Consequently when they first heard of the disappearance of the body from Mary Magdalene, they were extremely skeptical. Why believe the testimony of an hysterical women? Thus Peter and John had to go to the tomb to investigate for themselves and confirm that the body was missing.
John tells us that he believed that Jesus had risen when he saw the burial clothes lying there in the tomb. They were not cast about and in a mess, but neatly placed. Apparently the body of Jesus had just disappeared, dematerialized leaving the cloths that had been wrapped around his body discarded like an empty cocoon after a butterfly has emerged, still retaining the form of the body, but without the body. No wonder he believed and rejoiced. Even Mary Magdalene rejoiced when she saw and talked with Jesus. The rest remained unconvinced, confused and afraid until they saw for themselves, Thomas included.
We cannot really fault them for how they reacted. Although they had seen Jesus raise people from the dead, the idea of someone raising himself was so foreign to their way of thinking that it made no sense. Only by faith does it make sense. Despite our so-called advanced scientific minds we cannot explain it or reason it out. We must accept it as the the truth because the Word and of God testifies that these things are so.