Why Did Jesus Appear for 40 Days After Resurrection?

Editor’s Note:

When the Lord Jesus was born, He was hunted down by King Herod. He lived on earth for thirty-three years and endured much suffering, and worked for three and a half years, saving man from the bonds of the law by being nailed to the cross. He finished the work of redemption, tasted life’s bitterness and sweetness. Why did He appear to people after His resurrection? Read “Why Did Jesus Appear for 40 Days After Resurrection?” and you’ll get the answer.

Jesus Appear for 40 Days After Resurrection

It’s recorded in Acts 1:3, “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Whenever reading this verse, a bunch of pious Christians wonder why the Lord Jesus appeared to people for forty days after resurrection. What’s the significance of His appearance? Thanks to the Lord’s guidance, I was able to find the answer, and I would like to share.

Let’s first read a passage of words, which will help us know clearly the significance of the Lord Jesus’ forty-day appearance after resurrection. It says, “After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to the people He thought necessary, spoke with them, and made requirements of them, leaving behind His intentions for and expectations of people. That is to say, as God incarnate, His concern for mankind and requirements of people never changed; these remained the same when He was in the flesh and when He was in His spiritual body after being nailed to the cross and being resurrected. He was concerned about these disciples before He was up on the cross, and in His heart He was clear about the state of every single person and He understood every person’s deficiencies and, of course, His understanding of every person after He had died, been resurrected, and become a spiritual body was the same as it had been when He was in the flesh. He knew that people were not entirely certain of His identity as Christ, but during His time in the flesh He did not make strict demands of people. However, after He had been resurrected, He appeared to them, and He made them absolutely certain that the Lord Jesus had come from God and that He was God incarnate, and He used the fact of His appearance and His resurrection as the greatest vision and motivation for mankind’s lifelong pursuit. His resurrection from death not only strengthened all those who followed Him, but it also thoroughly implemented His work of the Age of Grace among mankind, and thus the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ salvation in the Age of Grace gradually spread to every corner of humanity. … When the Lord Jesus made this appearance, it caused His intense concern for His followers in humanity to materialize and be passed over to His spiritual body, or you could say, to His divinity. His appearance allowed people to once more experience and feel God’s concern and care while also powerfully proving that God is the One who launches an age, who unfurls an age, and who also ends an age. Through His appearance, He strengthened the faith of all people and proved to the world the fact that He is God Himself. This gave His followers eternal confirmation, and through His appearance He also launched a phase of His work in the new age” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”).

We all know, before the Lord Jesus was crucified, the Lord Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, but found His disciples asleep several times. Do you know what the Lord was thinking? As the Bible said, “And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40-41). These words reflect the Lord’s extreme sorrow and anxiety, and show His forgiveness and concern for His disciples. Once He was arrested by the ferocious soldiers, what would the state of His disciples be? The Lord Jesus understood mankind most. He knew man’s faith was too immature. He was afraid that more people would be weak and negative, no longer follow Him. Hence, after the Lord Jesus appeared to people after resurrection, He ate with people at the same table, explaining the Scriptures and speaking heart-to-heart to them. Besides, He made more demands of His followers and left more exhortations. Because of the Lord’s actions, they felt the Lord’s care and His dearness and loveliness, and they felt closer to the Lord. They were more certain that the Lord Jesus is the incarnate God. Therefore, the reason why the Lord Jesus appeared to people for forty days was that He wanted to dismiss His disciples’ worries. They then strongly believed in the Lord’s work and no longer felt puzzled. Meanwhile, resurrecting from the dead made the disciples understand that the Lord Jesus indeed served as a sin offering for humanity. He completed the work of redemption, walking out of the valley of the shadow of death and overcoming the forces of darkness. Then, people could follow the Lord without hesitation and misgiving. This is one aspect of the meaning of the Lord’s appearance to His disciples.

Another reason is that people at that time stuck to the law of the Old Testament; they gave sacrifice, kept the statutes and ordinances and prayed to Jehovah God in heaven; they had a shallow understanding of God. If the Lord Jesus hadn’t appeared after resurrection, people would have easily gone back to the Age of Law and lived their old lives. Then the Lord’s plan of saving man would fall through. After His resurrection, people indeed felt His true existence, could see and touch Him. As long as people prayed to the Lord with a true heart and obeyed His teachings, they could get more grace from the Lord and experience more of His deeds. A new era was dawning. They stepped into the Age of Grace from the Age of Law. It was because of the Lord’s appearance that His disciples were willing to resolutely follow Him and spread the gospel in a harsh environment. Finally, the Lord’s gospel has spread all over the world. We can be certain that the Lord Jesus’ resurrection is the greatest of visions for every Christian’s belief in the Lord.

Thanks to the Lord’s guidance, my knowledge of the Lord has become more practical. May glory and praise be to the one true God.

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