Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. —Mark 16:12
Sometimes in our minds we feel as though God has fallen short, that He hasn’t done what He said He would do. Maybe a tragedy has befallen us. Maybe something has happened in our lives that has left us feeling disappointed with God.
That is how two disciples felt after the crucifixion. They had lost hope. When Jesus appeared to them, they were walking away from Jerusalem into the country (see Mark 16:12). In their minds, Jesus had let them down. They had misunderstood His mission. They thought He would be a militant Messiah, not a suffering Savior. But if they had read the Scriptures carefully, they would have come across a vivid description of the physical sufferings of Christ in Isaiah. They would have read the words of Psalm 22, which pointed out that His hands and feet would be pierced, and that He would cry out from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” But they missed that.
Jesus was doing exactly what He had come to do, and they had misunderstood. And when it seems like God has failed us, it is because we have misunderstood. That was the problem with these discouraged disciples, and so they were leaving Jerusalem. They wanted to get that image of Jesus on the cross out of their minds. They wanted to put as much distance from them and the cross as humanly possible.
Many times when we are discouraged, we think, I don’t want to be around Christians. I don’t want to read the Bible. I don’t want to pray. But that is a big mistake. That is when we ought to be running to God, not away from Him. We ought to be spending time with His people and in His Word, not avoiding them.