“…to whom He presented Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, appearing to them for forty days…”
— Acts 1:3
When Jesus walked out of His own tomb 2,000 years ago, He changed all of history. His appearances to His disciples are crucial. He appeared to one, then to another, then to two, then to three and then to eight and ten and eleven and 500 people at a time, over a period of about six weeks (1 Corinthians 15:4-9). They saw Him, they heard Him, they handled Him. He fixed breakfast for them. He ate fish with them (John 21:7-15; Luke 24:42-43).
Connected to the appearances was the transformation of the apostles. One day they were cringing in an upper room for fear of the temple authorities, and soon after they were boldly upbraiding the Sanhedrin and proclaiming the resurrection of Christ.
Consider also their martyrdom. They were crucified, crucified upside down, sawed in half, stoned to death, and killed in many other ways, all except John, who was exiled to the island of Patmos by Nero. Why would they give their lives for what they knew to be false?
One could argue that they were deceived in believing Jesus rose from the dead. However, the notion that they knew He wasn’t really raised from the dead, but they made it up anyway? Why? So they could face horrific deaths? That does not make sense. People do what is in their own best interest. The apostles spread the Word everywhere because they knew Jesus rose from the dead from firsthand experience. He is risen indeed!
Lord Jesus, give me strength for today to boldly transform my world around me by letting others know You are risen from the dead. Thank You for showing the world for all time that Your truth is based on the unshakable foundation of Your historical resurrection…
BY HIS STRENGTH, WE CAN TELL OTHERS
THAT DEATH HAS BEEN DESTROYED.