JESUS’ FIRST AND SECOND APPEARANCES TO THE ELEVEN

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[John:20:19-31]; [Luke:24:36-49].

Lesson No.: 
250
Class: 
Senior
Memory Verse: 

“Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:  blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

Cross References: 

I The Post Resurrection Appearances of Christ on Easter Day
1. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, [Mark:16:9-11]; [John:20:11-18].
2. Jesus appears to other women on the way from the tomb, [Matthew:28:9-10].
3. Jesus appears to Simon Peter, [Luke:24:34]; [1 Corinthians:15:5].
4. Jesus appears to two disciples on the way to Emmanuel, [Mark:16:12-13]; [Luke:24:15-31].
5. Jesus appears to the Apostles and others with Thomas absent, [Mark:16:14-18]; [Luke:24:36-48]; [John:20:19-23].

II The Post Resurrection Appearances of Christ After Easter
1. The Sunday following Easter Jesus appears to the Apostles with Thomas present, [John:20:26-29].
2. Jesus appears to seven disciples while they fish on the sea of Tiberias, [John:21:1-25].
3. Jesus appears to the Apostles on a mountain in Galilee, [Matthew:28:16-20].
4. Jesus appears to more than five hundred brethren, [1 Corinthians:15:6].
5. Jesus appears to James, [1 Corinthians:15:7].
6. Jesus ascends before the Apostles at Bethany, [Mark:16:19]; [Luke:24:50]; [Acts:1:2-9]; [1 Corinthians:15:7].
7. Jesus appears to Paul, [1 Corinthians:15:8].

Notes: 

News of the Resurrection
The earth shook. An angel sat upon a stone which he had rolled away from the sepulchre. The message of the living Christ the angel gave the women seemed like an idle tale to the disciples. They thought it could not be so. Peter stooped down and entered into the open sepulchre. There were the linen clothes, but the body was gone. He wondered at that which had happened.

Mary saw Jesus, but the Apostles could not believe it was really He. The other women saw Jesus – but their story sounded fantastic. The Lord appeared unto Peter and the word was on all their lips, “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” But in the hearts of many there yet remained a question. Then into the assembly came two disciples from Emmaus with the word that Jesus had walked with them in the way and was made known to them in the breaking of bread. Even yet some doubted.

The Entrance of Jesus
Suddenly the disciples were all terrified and affrighted, for right in their midst stood what seemed to them to be a spirit -– but it was Jesus! Even with reassuring words He could scarcely convince them that it was really He. “Behold my hands and my feet,” He said. And there in His hands and in His feet were the prints where the nails had been. It was Jesus, their Master and Friend -– Jesus, who had walked and talked with them!

Not a Spirit, but a Glorified Person
“A spirit hath not flesh and bones,” explained Jesus as He assured the disciples that it was He -– in the flesh. As further proof of His physical existence after the resurrection, He asked for meat, and He ate in their presence. Jesus knew the various theories that would arise denying His resurrection from the dead; so He left them with “many infallible proofs” [Acts:1:3]). He had not only flesh and bones -– but there were the prints from the nails, and the cut of the spear, as proof positive of His own resurrected body.

The resurrected body of Christ differed from the natural body in that with His resurrected body He entered rooms “the doors being shut” [John:20:26]). He also “vanished out of their sight” [Luke:24:31]). But He was not a spirit; He had a body -– a resurrected, glorified body. All overcoming Christians shall undergo a similar change at the Rapture of the Church: “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” [1 Corinthians:15:51-52]). Jesus “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” [Philippians:3:21]). We shall have a glorified body which will resemble our present bodies. That is, we shall be able to recognise one another, but all physical imperfections, which are marks of the curse will be gone and we shall live to die no more.

The Opening of Their Understanding
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” [Luke:24:45]). No doubt Jesus quoted such beautiful passages as “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” [Isaiah:53:5]). And thus the light dawned upon them, and they knew He was Jesus.

The Importance of the Resurrection
While some challenge the divinity of Christ and others deny the miracle of His resurrection, true Christianity stands on the fact that Jesus was divine and that He arose from the grave. If we deny the resurrection we deny our faith and take away our hope of Heaven. “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.... if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” [1 Corinthians:15:14], [1 Corinthians:15:17-18]). No wonder that Jesus wanted His disciples to be sure that it was He and not just a spirit. Our salvation and hope of eternity depend upon the fact that His body was resurrected from the dead.

Hard to Convince
In spite of the evidence of at least five separate appearances of Christ to His followers on the day of His resurrection, there still lingered a doubt in the mind of Thomas, who was one of “the eleven.” Thomas was not present that evening when Jesus presented Himself to the rest of the Apostles: “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails,... I will not believe” [John:20:25]), declared sceptical Thomas.

The Lord knew the cold, calculating, scientific mind of Thomas would not be convinced by hearsay. Even so, our Lord was not willing that Thomas remain a doubter. Eight days later -– that is, the first day of the next week – Jesus appeared to the disciples and, after recognising the assembly, addressed Thomas: “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and trust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” [John:20:27]). That was enough for even the incredulous Thomas, who exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” Even the hard-to-be-convinced Thomas knew it was Jesus.

Breath of God
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost” [John:20:21];[John:20:22]). Such a breath from the Son of God could not be without significance. In the very beginning of creation God breathed into the nostrils of man the breath of life, and man became a living soul. (See [Genesis:2:7].) When Jesus breathed upon these disciples whom He had chosen and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” it is quite possible that He was sending the Holy Ghost to bear witness to their sanctification. We know that they were sanctified by the Blood of Jesus before the Day of Pentecost, for they were all with one accord. It was sanctification which brought that unity: “Sanctify them through thy truth: ... that they may be one, even as we are one” [John:17:17], [John:17:22]).

The Forgiveness of Sins
“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” [John:20:23]). This authority given to the Apostles as founders of the Church gave them the right to fellowship those who had erred from the faith and had repented, or to exclude those who erred and refused to repent. This instruction is similar to that found in [Matthew:18:15-17] where the explanation is given that if a brother refuse to recognise the word of the Church he shall be considered as “an heathen man and a publican.” Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” [2 Thessalonians:3:6]). The authority the Church has to forgive one who sins against him, “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him” [Luke:17:3]). This does not mean that the Church, pope, priest, or any man can forgive sins against God. A sin against a brother is also a sin against God. One who has erred must straighten up the matter not only with a brother but also repent before God, for only God can forgive sin.

The Son of God
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” [John:20:30-31]). John has given ample proof that Jesus is the Son of God. And millions of believers who have found life through His Name, down through the years, are witnesses to the power of His resurrection.

Questions: 

1. What day of the week did Jesus rise from the dead?
2. How long after His resurrection was it when He first showed Himself to His Apostles?
3. Name the proofs that Jesus offered of His resurrected body.
4. Enumerate the various appearances of Christ on Easter Day.
5. Look up the prophecies concerning the death and resurrection of Christ.
6. What day of the week was it when Jesus showed Himself the second time to His Apostles?
7. Who was not present at the first appearance?
8. Why is it important that we have proof of the resurrection of the body of Jesus?
9. Describe what you can of the glorified body.
10. How does a glorified body differ from a spirit?