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2023/4/12 Passover and the Resurrection: Healing our hearts of hardness and unbelief

Ron Sawka Ministries

April 12, 2023; Nissan 21, 5783

“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” (Mark 16:14).

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep’” (John 21:17).

Passover and the Resurrection

Healing our hearts of hardness and unbelief

We have just come through the amazing Passover Week and Resurrection Sunday. The second-greatest miracle in history was probably the Passover and subsequent opening of the Red Sea, when the Israelites were set free after 430 years in Egypt (see Exod. 12:40). The greatest miracle, of course, occurred when Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and then rose from the dead. He was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). He overcame death and sin, as well as all the power of Satan and the demonic hosts. Colossians 2:15 states, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” What a privilege to know and declare these truths. Jesus is Lord of all. Period!

After writing the above, I also feel impressed to write this: “Ask for and expect breakthrough and answers now.” The Israelites ate the first Passover meal fully dressed and ready to leave (Exod. 12:11). They were to expect immediate results, and that is what happened. They were set free that same night.

It honors the Lord when we ask for breakthrough and help. It honors Him further when we do so expecting His hand to move quickly on our behalf.

Healing the unbelief and hardness of the eleven

The first time Jesus appeared to the eleven—although Thomas was absent—after initial fear, they responded with great joy, especially after He ate with them—dispelling any notion that He was a ghost or disembodied spirit (see Luke 24:37–43). The second time, when Thomas was present (see John 20:24–29), likely coincides with Mark 16:14. Here, Jesus actually reprimands and rebukes them for their unbelief. We read, “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” (Mark 16:14).

I noticed two things from this. First, their unbelief or slowness to accept the testimony of credible witnesses was connected to hardness of heart. Perhaps the fact that they all fled and abandoned Jesus made them feel like failures. They were stuck somewhere between self-condemnation and not wanting to be “fooled again.” Second, Jesus never had to upbraid them another time. From then on in scripture, nowhere do we find them struggling with unbelief or fear or hardness of heart.

We could say that somehow the aftermath of the resurrection resulted in a complete healing of doublemindedness or unbelief. What happened?

I believe the key is in what happened in their third meeting with Jesus, as seen in John 21:4–19. They were all fishing when Jesus called to them from the bank. They answered Jesus’s question that they had no food—they hadn’t caught any fish. He told them to throw their nets on the right side of the boat, and immediately their nets were filled.

They all recognized it was Jesus, and Peter even jumped into the water in his haste to reach the shore. That in itself is a sign of some kind of healing. After all, boisterous Peter, who proclaimed he was willing to die for Jesus—denied Him three times before the rooster crowed on the morning of His trial (see Matt. 26:69–75). But that morning, instead of holding back or shrinking away, Peter ran to meet Jesus—a sure sign something was already changing in him.

We read, “Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast.’ Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him ‘Who are you?’—knowing that it was the Lord” (John 21:12).

They all ate, but obviously there was some kind of reserve or tension causing each of the eleven to hold back. They needed healing. Jesus did it for them.

Healing of their hearts—After breakfast is when the great miracle occurred. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Each time Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Although it grieved Peter that Jesus asked three times, the number was important. Peter had denied Jesus three times, and now he heard himself strongly declaring, “Lord, you know all things; You know that I love you” (John 21:17). In other words, Jesus’s questions led Peter to see that God’s truth and faith had been deeply implanted into him. On the surface, Peter and the others had all miserably failed. Yes, Peter was the only one to verbally deny Jesus, but all of them had fled and abandoned Him (see Matt. 26:35).

Thus, they all knew they had no strength in themselves—that they couldn’t trust themselves. This undoubtedly contributed to their hardness of heart and unbelief. Something deep and powerful happened at the breakfast on the seashore. I don’t know exactly what and how everything happened. I know Peter hearing his own answers helped, but there was much more. Somehow, he and the eleven found their hearts were healed. From then on, there is no record of them giving in to fear and unbelief. None. They were healed. Up-and-down faith was a thing of the past.

This Passover and Easter season, we declare the greatest of all miracles ever is the death and resurrection of Jesus. That can never be added to. But there is something that God wants to do for each one of us (if we haven’t experienced it already). He wants us all to be healed of any hardness of heart and unbelief. He did this for Peter and the rest of the eleven. He wants to do it for each of us.

If you haven’t done so already, ask Jesus to heal your heart of hardness and unbelief. Expect quick and immediate results. Let unbelief and up-and-down faith be a thing of the past.

Thanks for praying

Ron and Teddy

Nissan—The First Hebrew Month: Crossing Over with Praise

March 23–April 21, 2023

This is the beginning of the yearly redemption cycle. Have expectation for more of the Lord’s marvelous work of salvation, of healing, and of deliverance in our lives.

More about Nissan may be found here.

Weekly Broadcast Schedule (Times are listed in Japan Time, UTC+9:00.)

  • Apostolic for Russia—Fridays, April 14, 28, 7:00–8:00 p.m. YouTube

  • Apostolic Center Training—Tuesdays, 8:30–10:00 p.m., English/Chinese, registration required.

  • Prophetic Praise with Pete—Sundays–Thursdays, 10:00–10:30 p.m. YouTube

  • MPP—Mondays–Fridays, 6:00–6:45 a.m. YouTube

Note, I usually post links to my public Facebook page.


Ron’s new book, How to Activate Prophecy and Revelation Gifts, the first title in our new “Apostolic Center Training Series,” is intended as a tool for training others in prophetic activation. It is now available for Kindle. Print copies can also be obtained from our office in Sano. Contact for information about ordering copies, or to obtain any of the four books from the “Building Apostolic-Prophetic Foundations” series, which are also available on Kindle:

• Judah Goes First: The Power of Apostolic-Prophetic Praise

• Activated to Prophesy: The Essential Experience for This New Church Era

• Apostles and Apostolic Anointing: Raising Up the End-Times Believers

• Apostolic Centers: Wineskin for the New Era

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