Encounters with the Risen Christ

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Encounters with the Risen Christ

Amidst the joyous celebration of Jesus' resurrection, the significance of his appearances to his disciples and other witnesses can sometimes be overlooked. The lesson below is from Jesus in the Biblical Holidays class (coming mid-April) sign up here for updates. 

These encounters, which occurred between his resurrection on the Feast of Firstfruits (Nisan 17) and his ascension 40 days later, play a crucial role in the narrative of Christ's victory over death and the establishment of the early Christian church. Each appearance served a unique purpose, whether it was to provide comfort, instill faith, offer instruction, or commission his followers to spread the gospel message.

As we commemorate the resurrection, it is essential to also reflect on the impact of Jesus' appearances during this 40-day period. From his first appearance to Mary Magdalene at the tomb to his final appearance at his ascension on the Mount of Olives, Jesus demonstrated his tangible presence and the reality of his resurrection.

Mary Magdalene's Discovery

Encounter at the Tomb: Mary Magdalene visits Jesus' tomb, only to find it empty. To her astonishment, she meets Jesus, alive, who asks her to share the news of his resurrection with the disciples. Initially mistaking him for the gardener, her recognition dawns when he calls her by name. This moment marks Jesus' first appearance after his resurrection.

The Women's Witness

Joyful News from the Tomb: Mary Magdalene, along with Mary, mother of James, and Salome, return from the tomb and encounter Jesus. He greets them warmly, encouraging them not to fear and instructing them to tell the disciples of his impending meeting with them in Galilee. Their meeting with Jesus is a profound moment of worship and realization.

Peter's Personal Encounter

Peter's Transformation: Jesus makes a personal appearance to Peter, who had previously denied him three times. Although the Bible spares the details, this encounter is significant for Peter's restoration and is acknowledged by other disciples and in Paul's writings, highlighting its importance.

The Road to Emmaus

A Walk with the Unrecognized: Two disciples, including Cleopas, walk to Emmaus, discussing recent events. Unbeknownst to them, Jesus joins their journey, explaining the scriptures about himself. It's not until he breaks bread with them that they recognize him, rushing back to Jerusalem to share their experience.

The Disciples in Jerusalem

The First Gathering without Thomas: Jesus appears to his disciples in Jerusalem, offering proof of his resurrection by showing them his wounds. He shares a meal, enlightens them about the scriptures, imparts the Holy Spirit, and tasks them with spreading his teachings.

Doubting Thomas Convinced

From Doubt to Faith: A week later, Jesus appears again to his disciples, this time with Thomas present. Skeptical Thomas is invited to touch Jesus' wounds, leading to his profound acknowledgment of Jesus as his Lord and God. This encounter underscores the blessedness of belief without physical proof.

Miraculous Catch at Tiberias

Provision and Presence by the Sea: By the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus appears to seven disciples, showcasing his control over nature with a miraculous catch of fish and sharing a meal on the shore. This reaffirms Jesus' power and his continued involvement in the disciples' lives.

The Mountain Meeting in Galilee

Commissioning on High: Jesus gathers the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee, fulfilling his promise. He entrusts them with the Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations. His promise of eternal presence provides them with enduring encouragement.

The Witness of Many

A Testament to Resurrection: Paul records that Jesus appeared to over 500 people at once, providing a strong foundation for the historical reality of Jesus' resurrection. This mass sighting underscores the widespread impact of Jesus' life and teachings.

James' Special Encounter

From Skeptic to Leader: Jesus appears to his brother James, transforming him from a skeptic to a pivotal leader in the early Christian church. This encounter is vital, illustrating the personal and community-wide impact of Jesus' resurrection.

Apostolic Instructions in Jerusalem

Final Teachings and Promises: Over 40 days, Jesus appears to the apostles, teaching about God's kingdom and promising the Holy Spirit's arrival. He commissions them to spread his message far and wide, laying the groundwork for their mission.

Ascension to Heaven

A Heavenly Farewell: Jesus leads his disciples to the Mount of Olives, where he ascends to heaven in their presence. Angels assure them of his return, inspiring the disciples to worship and joyously continue their work in Jerusalem, filled with hope and determination.

Feats of Weeks / Shavuot/ Pentecost

Fifty days after his resurrection, on the feast of Pentecost, the disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem when they received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This event, which occurred ten days after Jesus' ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives, marked the birth of the early Christian church.

The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to boldly proclaim the gospel, perform miracles, and establish communities of believers. The appearances of the risen Jesus, combined with the coming of the Holy Spirit, transformed the disciples from fearful and uncertain individuals into courageous and faithful witnesses of Christ's resurrection and saving power.

Jesus in the Biblical Holidays Bible Journaling Classes

Enrollment should open for the Passover and Unleavened Bread classes on April 15. Click here for more. 

Jesus in the Biblical Holidays Book

Now Available

Discover the profound connections between Jesus and the biblical holidays in the timely release of "Jesus in the Biblical Holidays." As Passover approaches this book is an invaluable companion for those seeking to deepen their understanding of these ancient celebrations and their significance in the Christian faith. Explore the rich tapestry of grace, redemption, and prophecy woven through the Passover and other biblical feasts. Unveil the shadows of Christ in these holy days and embrace a fuller appreciation of God's plan for humanity. Perfect for individuals, study groups, and families, "Jesus in the Biblical Holidays" offers insights that will enrich your spiritual journey and bring the stories of the Bible to life in new and meaningful ways. Embrace this opportunity to draw closer to God and witness the unfolding of His grace as you prepare your heart for Passover.