14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:14–16, NKJV)
Eyewitnesses told the apostles they had seen the Lord; Jesus was alive from the dead. He appeared to Mary Magdalene, but they did not believe (Mk. 16:9-11; Matt. 28:9-10). Peter and John saw the empty tomb but did not understand (Jno. 20:1-10). Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but the apostles also refused their report (Mk. 16:12-13). Jesus did appear to His apostles, but He scolded them for their unbelief and hard hearts that prevented their faith (v. 14). Jesus commissioned the apostles to preach this good news to the world (v. 15). Jesus saved those who believed the gospel and were baptized (v. 16). He still does. But unbelievers remained lost in their sin, even to this day. No one living now has seen the resurrected Christ. We are dependent on the eyewitness reports of those who saw Him and interacted with Him after His resurrection to form the basis of our belief and obedience. Will you believe the apostles’ testimony that Jesus died, was buried and rose the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-5)? Or will you languish in unbelief? Will you soften your heart and be baptized to be saved? Or harden yourself against the Lord’s command to be baptized to be saved? Will the Lord rebuke your unbelief or bless you with salvation because you believe the apostles’ testimony and obey the Lord’s will (Jno. 20:29; 1 Pet. 1:8-9; 2 Thess. 1:10)?