Remembering Jesus After His Resurrection
According to the date on the calendar, Easter or Resurrection Sunday is over. However, the events that took place on Good Friday and three days later should be remembered and celebrated all the time.
It is very interesting that many people closest to Jesus did not recognize Him by His physical appearance immediately after His resurrection. It was only after Jesus did something or said something that they eventually recognized Him.
What does Jesus have to do for you to recognize Him today as the same person who was crucified, buried and resurrected from the dead on the third day?
Mary Magdalene was a close friend of Jesus. She was indebted to Him after He delivered her of seven demons. She supported Him financially in His ministry and traveled with Him after that. Whenever the women are listed in the Bible, Mary the mother of Jesus is always listed first, and Mary Magdalene's name is listed next. If Mary, the mother of Jesus was not in the group, then Mary Magdalene's name comes first.
All four of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John mentioned Mary Magdalene. In fact, she is mentioned 12 times, more than some of Jesus' own disciples. Mary Magdalene was a witness to Jesus' crucifixion and burial. She was the first to see Him after His resurrection.
After Jesus was crucified, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to put spices on His body. When she discovered that His body was no longer in the tomb, she wept because she thought someone had stolen His body and she didn't know where it was.
Then she saw Jesus, but she thought he was the gardener because He was in a garden (John 20:11-18). She still did not recognize it was Jesus even when they had a brief conversation. She recognized Him only when He called her name (John 20:16).
Jesus' Own Disciples
Jesus' own disciples who had walked with Him for three years before His death had difficulty recognizing Jesus after His resurrection when He appeared before them in a locked room (John 20:26-29).
Another time, Jesus appeared before the disciples when they were fishing, but they did not recognize Him at first. They thought He was just a stranger on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Even when He called out to them, they didn't realize it was the man they had followed (John 21:1-13).
The disciples had caught no fish until Jesus told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. John recognized Jesus and told Peter who the man was. By the time the fishermen returned to the shore, Jesus had made a fire to cook the fish they had caught. Because they had followed Jesus' instruction, they caught 153 fish. That was more fish than they had ever caught before.
When Jesus took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish, all the disciples knew for sure that the man having breakfast with them on the shore was Jesus who had broken bread with them before.
It was eight days after Jesus' resurrection and Thomas still doubted that Jesus had been raised from the dead. When a man came through a locked door and stood before the disciples, Thomas still doubted that He was really the resurrected Lord. Instead, Thomas thought He was a ghost.
Jesus proved to Thomas who He was by showing him the wounds He had received when He was crucified on the cross (John 20:26-29). He told Thomas to put his finger in the nail prints in His hands and put his hand into the hole in His side. After Thomas had done as he was instructed, he answered and said unto him, "My Lord and my God." It was an indication that Thomas knew Jesus was not a ghost. Thomas had seen and touched and now he believed. Jesus said, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Two People on the Road to Emmaus
A disciple named Cleopas and an unnamed disciple were walking away from Jerusalem and going toward Emmaus when a stranger began walking with them. They were sad as they told the man all about the crucifixion that had just taken place. They thought it was strange that the man had not heard what had happened.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus did not realize they were talking to Jesus. They recognized Him only after they invited Him into their house and Jesus broke bread at the table (Luke 24:13-35).
Today, Jesus is not going to appear before us in a garden as a gardener. He is not going to teach us to fish from a boat. Jesus doesn't have to tell us to touch the nail prints in His hands and feet. Neither does Jesus need to have a conversation with us on the Emmaus Road for us to know who He is.
According to 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” According to 1 Corinthians 15:45, Jesus is “a quickening spirit.” Jesus is no longer an earthly man. He is now a spirit being.
We should remember Jesus' resurrection long after the event was over because our salvation is based not on the fact that He was crucified but on the fact that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).