SIR - As no one has responded to Ken Bridgman’s second awkward topic, may I try?

It’s interesting to note that he doesn’t question the fact of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ - only the timing of the associated prophecies!

Most of the prophecies were in written form, hundreds of years before Jesus was even born, such as: Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem predicted by Zechariah (9:9) about 500 years previously.

Jeremiah foretelling the amount the authorities would pay in blood money to Jesus’ betrayer (Mt 27:9) 600 years before.

The detailed description of the way the Messiah was to die in Isaiah 53, some 800 years prior - at a time when crucifixion was not the way of execution. With David in Psalm 22 giving a perceptive insight to the Good Friday events, 1000 years earlier; with Psalm 16 speaking of the resurrection.

Jesus obviously thought all was prophesied in advance (Lk 24:27).

So, why did the disciples act as they did?

Most Read

The disciples were human, selfish people, like me and you! They didn’t want it to be true. It spoilt all their plans for their brilliant future. Peter understood perfectly and had a go at Jesus for such an idea (Mt 16:22).

James and John even later in Matthew 20:20f came with ‘mummy’ to stake their claims to have the most important positions in the coming kingdom! And when Jesus is arrested “they all deserted him and fled” (Mt 26;56) and went into hiding (Jn20:19). Self-preservation was the order of the day.

I think that whatever we had read or been taught, seeing a friend executed in such an horrific way, we would be slow to believe our friend had risen from the grave. Those personally terrified, it ‘might be us next’ disciples; those on the road to Emmaus; and that arch example of us all - doubting Thomas; eventually believed the prophecies of the previous thousand years and enjoyed the friendship of a living Jesus.

They didn’t have to make any prophecies up after the event, they were already there

Paul Prosser

Woolbrook Rise, Sidmouth