Yesterday I was tasked to preach on Luke 24:1-12, the account of Jesus' resurrection. No details are given about how he actually "got up" or how the angels moved the stone away. Instead, the attention of the text is the process of discovery and initial disbelief on the part of Jesus' followers, including the apostles.
It was just too crazy to take in. The way things unfolded, though strictly according to what Jesus had already predicted, and according to the Old Testament Scriptures, was still not what they expected. The empty tomb forced a re-organization of their understanding about God and how he would redeem and rescue his people from the effect of sin in the world.
Two things struck me about the events and interactions that day in Jerusalem. First, everything happened in plain sight. Anyone could do the investigation and check with the eyewitnesses to see if indeed Jesus had risen. If someone wasn't willing to engage the truth (for example the religious leaders we read about in Matthew's account who just paid money to the Roman guards so they'd cover up the truth) it wasn't because the confounding events couldn't be verified, but it was because hard hearts didn't really want to know the truth.
This is a humbling reality. Sharing the good news about what God has accomplished through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection isn't just a matter of making sure people can get the facts straight. The Holy Spirit must first break up the ground of hardened hearts so that an individual will want to go through the difficult process of truth discovery and the resulting reorientation of worldview leading to peace and fulfillment in Christ.
So, I'm off to pray for my unbelieving friends in Vegas. I'm praying for clear communication, but I'm praying all the more for the soil of their hearts to be made ready for the true truth.