Hope in the Heartland
Rise and shine
Pastor, Gracepoint Church
Between Easter and His ascension, Jesus “presented Himself alive … by many convincing proofs, appearing … over a period of 40 days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3.
It was this “presenting Himself alive” that supplied the undeniable proof that the resurrection really happened. While the empty tomb and the undisturbed burial clothes were enough to stir things up — not to mention the angel sightings — it was the bodily appearances of Jesus that settled the issue forever. And these weren’t just a couple of disputed “sightings” by hallucinating disciples who thought they spotted someone who kinda, sorta, quite possibly, in the right light, might have remotely resembled Jesus … or Big Foot … or the Loch Ness Monster … or a UFO.
Jesus appeared many times during that 40 days and not one appearance was because of an emotionally charged, wishful séance. He physically appeared:
- To Mary Magdalene; John 20:11-18.
- To the other women; Matthew 28:9-10.
- To two disciples; Luke 24:13-34.
- To Simon Peter; Luke 24:34, I Corinthians 15:5.
- To the 10 disciples, Thomas absent; John 20:19, Luke 24:36.
- To the 11 disciples, Thomas present; John 20:24-29.
- To followers by the Sea of Galilee; John 21:1-25.
- To over 500 people at one time; I Corinthians 15:6.
- To His brother, James; I Corinthians 15:7.
- To apostles at His ascension; Acts 1:6-9.
And after His return to heaven, we have recorded appearances to Stephen, Saul/Paul, and the apostle John.
It’s a fact. Jesus has risen. He has risen indeed.