The Risen Lord Jesus Appears to Disciples – Gospel Reflection on Matthew 28:9
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. - Matthew 28:9
This verse record the facts of the’ resurrection three days after His crucifixion. The Lord Jesus’ resurrection to mankind is undoubtedly important. How could we not be excited about it? In joy and excitement, let us calm down and think about these two questions: What deeper meanings does the Lord Jesus’ resurrection have? What are the Lord’s intentions when He taught His disciples after His resurrection and appearance?
When I was studying related materials, I saw these words in a spiritual book: “The scripture contains the following line describing the Lord Jesus after the resurrection: ‘then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you.’ It’s very clear that the Lord Jesus at that time was no longer a flesh, but a spiritual body. This was because He had transcended the limitations of the flesh, and when the door was closed He could still come into the midst of the people and allow them to see Him. This is the greatest difference between the Lord Jesus after the resurrection and the Lord Jesus living in the flesh before the resurrection. Even though there was no difference between the appearance of the spiritual body of that moment and the appearance of the Lord Jesus from before, Jesus in that moment had become a Jesus that felt like a stranger to the people, because He had become a spiritual body after being resurrected from the dead, and compared to His previous flesh, this spiritual body was more puzzling and confusing for people. It also created more distance between the Lord Jesus and the people, and people felt in their hearts that the Lord Jesus in that moment had become more mysterious. … 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.”
After reading these words, I had gained some understanding. Before the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He was in the flesh. After the resurrection, He appeared to man in a spiritual body with the image of the flesh. At that time, the Lord Jesus had transcended the limitations of the flesh, and could come among His disciples and appear to them when the door was closed. Although His outward image didn’t change, He had become a spiritual body. Facing the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus, the disciples felt that it was mysterious, and there was also confusion and distance growing inside them. The Lord Jesus was clear about man’s mentality and need. So, after the resurrection, He appeared to man for forty days, and ate bread and fish and explained the scriptures to His disciples. So that man could see that He was still the same Lord Jesus, tangible with flesh and bones, and would no longer think that the resurrected Lord Jesus was a spiritual body that they couldn’t touch or approach. In addition, they could see His existence and recognize Him, with no more doubt but confirmation of His resurrection. In this way, the relationship between man and God would be restored to their relationship before the crucifixion. They would say, “The Lord has risen from dead! He is the same as before. He loves us the same way He used to. He cares about us, He doesn’t leave us, and He is still with us, still on earth.” Besides, through His resurrection and appearance to man, the Lord Jesus opened up a phase of the work in the Age of Grace, and led man to come out from the law and enter into the new age. All the followers of Him knew that He is Christ, the incarnated God, and God Himself, and their faith was thus strengthened. Later, His disciples took His resurrection as the greatest vision, and began to testify about Him, telling people the facts of His work, and to preach, which has been spread across the world today. So, the meanings of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection can be seen from above.
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