Jesus' Appearance After Death

From Journey the Word

When some people think of Jesus appearing to different people… {Mary Magdalene, Peter, two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, and all other disciples except Thomas}

Some think Jesus was a ghost when He appeared to those people. After all, if someone who was purportedly killed on the brutal cross and was placed in a tomb with a huge boulder—of course, people would think a ghost has appeared.

Then, what happened? Jesus said to them… “Be not afraid.” Now, let us explore…

First, it’s not “Easter.” Acts 12:4, “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” The usage of “Easter” in this sentence is a poor translation, because the original Greek word is transliterated, “pascha,” or in what we know as “Passover.”

We will read today in two Scriptures. Let us begin with the first one in Matthew 28:1-13

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 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. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.”

Now, we shall read in John 20:1-31

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 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: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

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.”

What we have read then, is that early in the morning of [Easter Sunday] the Resurrection Day, women went to the tomb to find that the stone that kept the tomb closed was removed, to which the Angel of the Lord told them that Jesus was actually alive (the women thought the angel was a young man, as he had appeared youthful to them). However, the angel was an angelic being embodied as a human to defer suspicion they had seen a foreign being. Soon, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden, and then to Peter, and finally to the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Later that day, He appeared to all disciples except for “doubting Thomas.” After eight days, Thomas was able to palpate Jesus’ wounded areas, and believe for himself that Jesus was alive. It was clear from this evidence Jesus was not a ghost, but He was a materialized being; God in Christ in an immortal human body form.

Has Jesus appeared to you yet? Has He made His Presence known through your life? If He has not, then it is a fine time to ask Him to do so. Are you a believer? Do you believe Jesus died and then rose again to redeem us of our sins (wrongdoings)? If you believe, you shall receive eternal life and shall never die.

Now, we shall dive into some interesting things of these two bands of Scripture. In order according, here is how Jesus was seen when we resurrected: The Angel first, the women second, and the disciples last. What is most striking is that The Father (GOD) gave all power to the Son after He achieved redemption, which had been equally His with the Father and Holy Spirit before becoming a man – it’s just that His Power was limited in Jesus while being a “mortal man.” However, after resurrecting into an immortal body (which believers shall do in the future – HALLELUJAH!), He gained all glorious power back (*See also Luke 2:40, 52; Philippians 2:7; John 8:28; 17:5; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:15-18).