Easter is known to every Christian, and it originated from the’ resurrection and ascension three days after His crucifixion. Christians observe the feast of Easter to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, so Easter occurs between March 22 and April 25 each year. In this year, Easter Day is on April 1. When you are celebrating this feast, however, do you know why the Lord Jesus was resurrected three days after His death? And why did He appear to many people after His resurrection?
For example, the Lord Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, to other women, to Peter, to James, to Thomas, to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus and to other disciples…. Moreover, He spoke with the disciples, ate fish, and told Thomas to touch the nail marks on His hands. As it is written, “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Have you here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them” (Luke 24:41-43). Besides, John 20:19-20 say, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you. And when he had so said, he showed to them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.” Whenever I read these verses, I thought, “After the Lord Jesus was crucified, His work had been completed, but why did He appear to those people? And why did He even appear to the disciples again and again in various ways over a period of forty days? What was God’s intention in appearing to them?”
It was not until later, when I read two passages of God’s words, that I came to understand the Lord Jesus’ kind and thoughtful intention in appearing to those people after His resurrection. God says: “The resurrected Lord Jesus is the Lord Jesus that had initially spent thirty-three and a half years working among mankind. Although He had been nailed to the cross and experienced the valley of the shadow of death, and He had experienced resurrection, His every aspect had undergone no changes. Although He now had nail marks on His body, and although He had been resurrected and walked out from the grave, His disposition, His understanding of mankind, and His intentions toward mankind had not changed in the slightest. Also, He was telling people that He had come down off the cross, triumphed over sin, triumphed over hardships, and triumphed over death. The nail marks were just the evidence of His victory over Satan, evidence of being a sin offering to successfully redeem all of mankind. He was telling people that He had already taken on mankind’s sins and He had completed His work of redemption. When He returned to see His disciples, He told them with His appearance: ‘I’m still alive, I still exist; today I am truly standing in front of you so that you can see and touch Me. I will always be with you.’ …
“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, and His expectations of people. That is to say, as, it doesn’t matter if it was during His time in the flesh, or in the spiritual body after being nailed to the cross and being resurrected—His concern for mankind and requirements of people did not change. He was concerned about these disciples before He was up on the cross; in His heart, He was clear on the situation of every single person, He understood every person’s deficiency, and of course His understanding of every person was the same after He had died, resurrected, and become a spiritual body as it was when He was in the flesh. He knew that people weren’t entirely certain of His identity as Christ, but during His time in the flesh He did not make strict demands of people. But after He had been resurrected He appeared to them, and He made them absolutely certain that the Lord Jesus had come from God, 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 follow Him, but also thoroughly put His work of the Age of Grace into effect among mankind, and thus the of the Lord Jesus’ salvation in the Age of Grace gradually spread to every corner of humanity. Would you say that the Lord Jesus’ appearance after His resurrection had any significance? If you were Thomas or Peter at that time, and you encountered this one thing in your life that was so meaningful, what kind of impact would it have on you? Would you see this as the best and the greatest vision of your life of believing in God? Would you see this as a driving force of your following God, striving to satisfy Him, and pursuing love of God in your life? Would you expend a lifetime of effort to spread this greatest of visions? Would you make spreading the Lord Jesus’ salvation a commission you accept from God? … His appearance allowed people to have another experience and feeling of God’s concern and care while also powerfully proving that God is the One who opens up an age, who develops an age, and He is the One who ends an age. Through His appearance He strengthened the faith of all people, and through His appearance He proved to the world the fact that He is God Himself. This gave His followers eternal confirmation, and through His appearance He also opened up a phase of His work in the new age.”
Through reading these words of God, I came to understand the Lord Jesus’ kind and thoughtful intention in His resurrection. The Lord Jesus prophesied His resurrection when He did His work, but the people in those days never believed that He could resurrect Himself. So, when He was arrested, even His disciples ran away in all directions in fear, and Peter even denied Him three times. Therefore, if the Lord Jesus had not been resurrected, His disciples and the Jewish people would never have acknowledged that He was God. Only if the Lord Jesus, after His resurrection, was manifested to people again and again, spoke with them, appeared among them at any time, and even ate food before them could they firmly believe that He was God Himself, was Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind prophesied in the Scriptures, and was the Son of the living God. From then on, the faith of the believers in Him was much strengthened. The disciples were weak in faith when the Lord Jesus was arrested, but after He appeared to them, they could have themselves martyred for the sake of preaching His gospel. From this we can see that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus not only allowed people to know that He had triumphed over death and Hades, but also brought hope to all His followers, strengthened their faith, and allowed them to know that He was God Himself and was the One who had come to save mankind and that God had completed the work of redemption and gained the glory. Moreover, it proved to all mankind that only God is capable of doing the work of opening up a new age and ending the old age and that only God can show man the hope of survival and raise man from the dead. Thanks to the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, God’s work in the Age of Grace began to expand spectacularly, and the disciples of the Lord Jesus and the other people who had once followed Him began to testify to His redemptive work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This shows that the Lord Jesus’ appearance to mankind after His resurrection is of profound significance.
Only at that point did I realize that Easter is actually not important in itself, but what is really important is the significance of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to man after His resurrection.
• For free resources: Resurrection of Jesus to help you to know more about the resurrection of Jesus.
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