THE GOSPELS 117
JESUS VOICES HIS CONCERNS AFTER THE RESURRECTION
There are a number of things which Jesus said and did after His resurrection that the casual Bible reader will miss if he does not stop, think about them, and see their deeper implications. In the
first instance of His appearance, He showed Himself to Mary Magdalene and gave her the wonderful privilege of being the first to announce His resurrection. In His instructions for her to go and
tell the disciples, He told her to tell them that He was going to ascend to His Father in Heaven. However, we now know that He was to appear a number of times to these disciples and tell them
Himself of His pending ascension. Why then, tell Mary to give them this information? I think this indicates something very important for us to realize.
When Jesus came to earth, He took upon Himself the form of a human being, with all its limitations and weaknesses. All of His miracles were sent from the Father in Heaven, who was directing and
controlling everything. As we have said before, being a true human being made it possible for us to identify with Him and have a real, personal relationship with the Father. After His
resurrection, He still retained His humanness, with all its limitations. This statement to Mary indicated that He did not know when the Father was going to take Him back to His place in Glory.
He is still human, and His resurrection was real, not just a spirit appearing in human form. Also, God is still in control, and is directing things so men will really know that the resurrection
was real, and the sacrifice was complete.
The second appearance was to two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus. When He asked what they were talking about, they said it was about Jesus of Nazareth, a great prophet, whom the Jews had
crucified, but they had hoped He was going to restore Israel. Also, they indicated they were confused because some of the women went to the tomb and came back saying it was empty. When they went
to the tomb, they also found it empty, and they were confused.
Their conversation indicated that they shared the Jewish belief that the Messiah, when He came, would restore the power of the Kingdom of Israel on earth. Jesus was disappointed that they did not
realize that His mission was not to save them from the Romans, but to save them from sin. Jesus then referred to Moses and the prophets, and tried to show them that what was done had been
predicted , and that the death of Christ on the Cross was to fulfill the promise. He tried to make them see that no earthly kingdom was ever implied in the promise, nor in the words of the
prophets. The blessing was a spiritual renewal, and the death and resurrection was the fulfillment.
The third appearance was to the disciples in Jerusalem, and He showed His frustration with them because they had not believed those who went to the tomb and, finding it empty, had come back to
report His resurrection. He had promised before His death to return, and had also told them of the prophets’ words, but they still had not grasped the reality of, nor believed in, His
The problem still persists today. Part of the reason is that men are so tied to this world that they only envision heaven as a place that will be perfectly pleasing to our physical senses.
They refuse to recognize that the most important things in the world are love, peace, companionship and other spiritual experiences. God is Spirit, and what we will have with Him is a perfect
The second problem men have, in realizing what it means for Jesus to invite us into His Spiritual Kingdom, is that we have yet to deal with the terrible consequences of sin. We are so used to it,
in this evil world, that Satan and evil are not real to us. Sin is the name of those things which separate us from our Creator, and from the purpose for which we were created. It is what
condemns us to a world without love and peace, where all misery lies, and there is no hope. Only the blood of Jesus, made available by His death and resurrection, can cure the consequences of
sin, of which all of us are guilty. The disciples did not yet grasp this eternal truth, and men still fail to put their faith in it, and respond to it.
In our next essay, we want to deal with Jesus’ commission to His disciples, and, through them, to the church for all time. Also, we want to study the reality of His ascension, and its meaning for