Dear Pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here…Palm Sunday will be celebrated around the world this Sunday. I heard a story of a primary Sunday school teacher who asked her class what this Sunday represented. One little girl raised her hand and said, “It’s Palm Sunday!” The teacher said, “Wonderful. You’re correct!” The teacher then asked, “What’s the significance of next Sunday?” The same little girls raised her hand and said, “Next Sunday is Easter!” The teacher asked the class “What’s Easter?” The same little girl said, “It’s the day Jesus rose up from the grave.” Before her teacher could say “Wonderful. You’re correct!” the little girl continued, saying, “But if He sees his shadow, he’ll go back onto His hole for another six weeks!”
Like a lot of other people in society, the little girl got it only partially right. We get a great chance over the next few weeks to share the rest of the story.
I’m in the book of Acts for my morning devotions these days. Several weeks back, I read, “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke the kingdom of God.”(Acts 1:3, NIV).
One of the most “convincing proofs” of Jesus’ divine claims is His post-resurrection appearances.
I chat with unbelievers about the struggles they have with my Christian faith—issues like what the Bible says about homosexuality, evolution, or sex before marriage. I share graciously and carefully, and my friend struggles. What my friend doesn’t know is that I’m quietly thinking to myself, “Wait until he discovers that I believe a dead man actually rose from the dead!”
However, the Apostle Paul says that if this is not true, the faithful are fools (1 Cor. 15). The resurrection remains one of the most “convincing proofs” for Jesus’ divine nature and assurance that He is our Saviour.
Here are the “appearances” itemized in the New Testament. Let’s get the word out about these “convincing proofs”:
Christ’s Resurrection Appearances
1. The visit of the women to the tomb of Jesus early Sunday morning.
*Mark 16:1; Matt. 28:1, 5-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1
2. The earthquake and rolling away of the stone by the angel, and the fear of the Roman guards.
*Matt. 28:2-4; Luke 24:4
3. Mary Magdalene and other women report to the apostles—Peter and John visit the empty tomb.
*Luke 24:9-12; John 20:2-10
4. The appearance to Mary Magdalene and the message to the apostles.
5. The appearance of Jesus to the other women.
6. “Some” of the guards report to the Jewish rulers.
7. The appearance to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.
*Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-22
8. The report of the two disciples, and the news of Christ’s appearance before Peter.
*Luke 24:33-35; 1 Cor. 15:5
9. The appearance to the astonished disciples (except Thomas); they’re given a commission.
*Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25
10. The appearance to the disciples on the following Sunday night with Thomas.
*John 20:26-31; 1 Cor. 15:5
11. The appearance to seven disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.
12. The appearance to 500 on an appointed mountain in Galilee and the Great Commission is given.
*Mark 16:15-18; Matt. 28:16-20; 1 Cor. 15:6
13. The final appearance and Ascension.
*Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:3-8
He is Risen!
Have a blessed week,
P.S. – Our current FAIR project is an aid program to change the trajectory of 10 families in the slums of Kolkata, India. Visit our website for more details, or to donate online. Consider making this an Easter offering in your church.
Our 2014 Fellowship theme verse is:
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13 :35 (NLT)