Messages at Jesus’ Appearances (4/21/22)
Jesus appeared to many after he left his grave clothes in the tomb. Let’s take a look at the books of the Bible that record when he spoke and the instructions he gave.
In the book of Matthew- Jesus and an angel spoke to the two ladies, both named Mary, at the empty tomb. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He is risen, just as he said. Come see the place where he lay. Go quickly and tell his disciples.”
Jesus met them: “Greetings. Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, there they will see me.”
Jesus on the Mountain in Galilee (The Great Commission): “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit., and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Mark’s mention of the Eleven– Mark repeats the message of the angel at the tomb, but adds someone else. “Go tell his disciples and Peter.” (Peter was dictating to Mark.) Later in the book of Mark, we are given details about what Jesus said when he appeared to the eleven. He rebukes them for their lack of faith and gives the great commission to them personally: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel (good news) to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs shall follow those who believe…” Then Jesus lists signs of deliverance from demons, speaking in new tongues, protection from snakes and poison, amd laying hands on people to heal them.
In the book of Luke, we are given an additional message from the angels– “Why do you look for the living among the dead: He is not here; He has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Only then did they remember Jesus’ words.
Jesus appears to two on the Road to Emmaus. This is in Luke, chapter 24– “How foolish you are and slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer those things and then enter his glory?” And he explained to them the prophecies of the Old Testament. No doubt this included Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.
To the disciples later that day. “Peace be with you. Why are you troubled and why do doubts arise in your mind? Look at my hands and feet. It is I myself. Touch me and see: a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the dead. We see how it was part of your divine plan and that you prophesied through the Old Testament. Forgive us when we don’t dig deeper into the gospels to learn all that we can about this important event. We thank you for how you guided each gospel writer to include details that would later be convincing evidence for us. While the accounts have different details, they are woven together to form a whole picture. We also thank you that we have seen the Great Commission carried out through history, as your gospel was taken throughout the world to every nation. Thank you for believers throughout the world today. May this Easter season give all of us increased faith and devotion, and especially help those who are enduring persecution for the sake of Jesus’ Name. In that name we pray, Amen.
Stay tuned for more appearances in next week’s devotion.