Sunday, April 12, 2009

Appearance to the disciples

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."
John 20:19-23, English Standard Version

The Resurrection of Christ
Appearance to the Disciples

We really have the advantage over the people of Jesus' time, in that we have the entire Scriptures at our disposal. Sometimes, however, we are so familiar with the life of Jesus and His resurrection that we miss the significance.

So, for a moment, let us put ourselves in the position of the ten disciples. What were they to do? It is the evening of the day of Christ's resurrection (Easter Sunday!). Christ has been crucified; their leader is dead. Trembling in a locked room, ten of the disciples (minus Thomas) are trying to decide what to do. Word of Christ's resurrection and consequent appearances has been reported throughout the day, but is it true?

In one way, it is hard for us to understand their reaction because Christ told them that He would rise from the dead. Yet, when it happened, they did not believe it was true.

I love the Charlie Brown cartoon strip. When adults (which we never see) are talking, the only thing the children seem to hear is, "Blah, blah, blah." How like we believers! How often do the words of Christ just seem to go over our heads in a meaningless chatter? We know that is true of unbelievers, but because of our sin, it is also true of Christians.

While the disciples are pondering these things, Christ suddenly appears in their midst. I am amused by the wording of verse 20. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. That seems to be somewhat of an understatement, don't you think? Yes, they were glad, overjoyed, amazed, astounded, grateful, humbled, filled with awe, and the list goes on.

Let us take some time, this Easter Sunday, and put ourselves in the place of the disciples. Let us, too, be glad, overjoyed, amazed, astounded, grateful, humbled, and filled with awe.

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er his foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose!
He arose!
Hallelujah, Christ arose!

God Bless You,

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