By Zheng Fu
I think all of the brothers and sisters in the Lord know that after thewas crucified and then resurrected from death, He appeared to His disciples many times, and that He told the disciples that although He was resurrected as an ethereal body and was able to walk through the wall, His substance has never changed: He was still the Lord who loved them. But have brothers and sisters ever thought about God’s will behind the Lord’s appearing to His disciples many times after His resurrection?
God’s words said: “So, the first thing that the Lord Jesus did after His resurrection was to allow everyone to see Him, to confirm that He exists, and to confirm the fact of His resurrection. In addition, it restored His relationship with the people to the relationship He had with them when He was working in the flesh, and He was thethey could see and touch. This way, one outcome is that the people had no doubt that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected from death after being nailed to the cross, and there was no doubt in the Lord Jesus’ work to redeem mankind. And another outcome is that the fact of the Lord Jesus appearing to people after His resurrection and allowing people to see and touch Him firmly secured mankind in the Age of Grace. From this time on, people could not return to the previous age, the Age of Law, because of the Lord Jesus’ ‘disappearance’ or ‘desertion,’ but they would continue forward, following the Lord Jesus’ teachings and the work He had done. Thus, a new phase in the work in the Age of Grace was formally opened up, and the people who had been under the law formally came out from the law from then on, and entered into a new era, with a new beginning. These are the manifold meanings of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to mankind after the resurrection.” “This brief reunion made the people who saw the Lord Jesus feel as if a lifetime had passed. Their lost, confused, afraid, anxious, yearning and numb hearts found comfort. They were no longer doubtful or disappointed because they felt that now there was hope and something to rely on. The standing in front of them would be behind them for eternity, He would be their strong tower, their refuge for all time.”
From these two passages of words, we can clearly see that before the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross, He ate together, stayed together, and lived together with His disciples, and He often taught them and expressed the truth to supply them. At that time, the disciples followed Him with great faith. However, when they saw the Lord Jesus was arrested and then crucified with their own eyes, most of them lost their faith in the Lord and lived in weakness and pain. The Lord Jesus knew them best, and even more knew their weakness; if He had not appeared to or spoke to them after His resurrection, they would have returned to the Age of Law and lived a life of following rules and rituals again. If so, the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption would have become meaningless. Therefore, for the sake of strengthening the disciples’ faith, thoroughly guiding them out of negativity, loss and confusion, making them follow Him without hesitation so that they could accept His, enter into the new age—the Age of Grace, and for the sake of letting them enjoy His bountiful grace, live under His care and protection and survive, the Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples timely after His resurrection. Through this action, the Lord wanted to communicate to His disciples that He is the truth, the way, and the life, and that His work of redeeming mankind had been successfully accomplished, and so they needn’t doubt, but should resolutely follow Him in their future path.
In addition, the Lord Jesus deeply knew that at that time the Judaism was full of conceptions toward His work and suppressed and resisted His work, and that the Roman government persecuted and arrested His disciples. Under such circumstances, it was not a simple matter to spreadof the kingdom of heaven to the ends of the earth so that more people could obtain the Lord Jesus’ salvation. Just as the Lord Jesus said: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:9-14).
From this, we can see that when the disciples followed the Lord and spread the Lord’s gospel, they faced all sorts of hardships and obstacles, and even faced the danger of being martyred for the Lord at any time, in which environment they needed to have enough faith and the will to suffer. Therefore, after the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to His disciples and told them the work He did is the work of God Himself, which cannot be banned by any evil force. Although He experienced the suffering of death, He already succeeded in accomplishing the work of mankind’s redemption, overcame the bondage of death, and completed the will of God the Father. To all the followers of the Lord Jesus, undoubtedly, His resurrection is the greatest encouragement to them; moreover, His appearance even more increased the faith of the disciples, and laid the steady foundation for spreading His gospel from that time on.
From the Lord Jesus’ appearing to His disciples many times after His resurrection, we can see that God’s will is always hidden within matters. Whatever God does is imbued with His boundless wisdom, and His earnest intentions for mankind. Even though much of the time we cannot understand it, as long as we have a humble and seeking heart, God will surely lead us to know Him and His work.
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