After Jesus had risen from the dead he appeared to many of his disciples including up to five hundred at the one time. Then he came and stood amongst his closest disciples, the twelve minus Judas who betrayed him. We see in this section of the scripture the purpose of his visitation and his instructions to the disciples.
Proof that he Lives
When Jesus stood among the disciples he said to them, “Peace to you.” (Verse 36) The disciples were startled and afraid when they saw him and thought they were seeing a ghost.
But Jesus came to them for the purpose of dispelling their fears. They had a job to do and they could not do it if they were firstly afraid, and secondly if they did not believe themselves. Jesus needed them to see and know that this was not some trick. They were not bearing witness to a lie or a charade or some meter con job. They had to know this was real and that the resurrection was real, for it is the basis of the Christian faith.
Touch Me and Feel Me
So Jesus told them to come and see the wounds in his hands and his side from the nails and the spear. He told them to touch and feel these wounds so that they would be convinced this was no vision or a spirit but that Jesus was standing before them as flesh, blood and bone. He said to them, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
Jesus wanted them to be absolutely certain that he was real and standing before them. To complete the reality of his appearance he then said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.” (verses 41-43) By doing these normal things while he stood amongst them he proved to them that he was real, he was alive and he had come back from the dead as he said that he would.
The disciples were then convinced and overjoyed. Earlier he had told them that they would be sorrowful when he had been put to death, but that their sorrow would be turned to joy and no one would be able to take away their joy. That time had now come. Their joy was complete for they now knew and had the proof in front of them that all the Jesus had told them was true, that he was indeed the Saviour, the Christ and the Messiah sent to bring salvation to the Jews and to the world.
A Lesson For Today
The disciples had the Lord standing before them as evidence of the resurrection. Jesus told them that they were to be witnesses of the resurrection to all of Jude’s and to the ends of the earth. In the knowledge hat he told them the truth and that he did not lie, we too can accept the truth of the resurrection from the witness of these disciples so many years ago. They bore witness to the truth of the resurrection in their generation and we can accept and know it was so for they saw it and were instructed by the Lord to tell us. We have their written testimony in the bibles we read that these things are indeed true, and we accept them by faith. It is our faith in the words that these men passed down to us and the words of the Lord himself that testify to the truth of the new covenant. So we are to hold fast to the truth of these things and receive the salvation that has been set before us.
(Picture sourced from clip art at ochristian.com)