We all know the was crucified and then resurrected from the dead. However, do you know why He appeared to man after His resurrection? The following essay will tell you the little-known mystery.
by Cheng Hang
Some brothers and sisters saw these words in the Bible, “And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Have you here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them” (Luke 24:36-43). So they felt a little confused: The Lord Jesus is God. Why did He appear to man after His resurrection?
I had thought: The Lord Jesus lived with His disciples both day and night for more than three years. The disciples saw personally that He was crucified. After He resurrected, He worried about His disciples most, so He appeared to them, letting them know the fact that He had resurrected, and keeping them from losing faith in Him and from feeling discouraged and disappointed. Afterward, not until I read a spiritual book did I know that the Lord’s appearance to His disciples has profound significance.
Firstly, in order to let us believe that the Lord Jesus is the everlasting God and truly rely on Him
It says in the book, “And when He walked out from the grave, and appeared to the people one by one, the majority of people who had seen Him with their own eyes or heard the news of His resurrection gradually shifted from denial to skepticism. By the time the Lord Jesus had Thomas put his hand into His side, by the time the Lord Jesus broke bread and ate it in front of the crowd after His resurrection, and after that ate broiled fish in front of them, only then did they truly accept the fact that the Lord Jesus is in the flesh. You could say that it was as if this spiritual body with flesh and blood standing in front of those people then was awakening every one of them from a dream: standing in front of them was the One who had existed since time immemorial. He had a form, and flesh and bones, and He had already lived and eaten with mankind for a long time…. At this time, the people felt that His existence was so real, so wonderful; they were also so joyful and happy, and at the same time filled with emotion. And His reappearance allowed people to truly see His humility, to feel His closeness, and His longing, His attachment for mankind. This brief reunion made the people who saw the Lord Jesus feel as if a lifetime had passed. Their lost, confused, afraid, anxious, yearning and numb hearts found comfort. They were no longer doubtful or disappointed because they felt that now there was hope and something to rely on. The Son of man standing in front of them would be behind them for eternity, He would be their strong tower, their refuge for all time.” This passage says clearly the Lord Jesus’ intention in appearing to man. God examines the heart. He knew that though the disciples followed Him at that time, yet they didn’t believe the Lord Jesus is God incarnate, much less did they believe the fact that He had resurrected. Thomas is a typical example. When he heard the news that the Lord Jesus had resurrected, he said, “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” (John 20:25). When the Lord appeared, He allowed Thomas to touch His rib and the scars from the nails on His hands, making him believe the fact that He had resurrected and removing his doubts of God.
In real life, many people are like Thomas. Even though they believe in the Lord, they are filled with doubts about Him. They don’t believe that the Lord Jesus is God incarnate, much less that He can be raised from the dead. Therefore, the Lord Jesus appeared Himself so as to let people like Thomas as well as all the believers in the Lord today genuinely believe that He is God incarnate, is God from everlasting to everlasting, and is the Creator of the heavens and earth and all things. Not only is God a spiritual body, but He is Christ in the flesh with a form. He not only can hold sovereignty over all things and command mankind in heaven, but also can command everything and save mankind humbly hidden in the flesh. Although the Lord was nailed to the cross, He has the great power of resurrection, for He is the unique God Himself. … God has real existence, and moreover, He is vivid. At the same time, He appeared forty days to man and lived among man. In this way, He comforted man, making us know that He has been worrying about and caring for man, so that it can strengthen our faith in Him, and make us cross the road to following God securely, truly depend on Him, and have peace in our spirit.
Secondly, in order to make us see God’s love and concern for mankind and know He never departs from man
There is another passage in the book, “It can be said of God’s work that He truly finishes what He starts. There are steps and a plan, and it is full of God’s wisdom, His omnipotence, and His marvelous deeds. It is also full of God’s love and mercy. Of course, the main thread running through all of God’s work is His care for mankind; it is permeated with His feelings of concern that He can never put aside. In these verses of the Bible, in every single thing that the Lord Jesus did after His resurrection, what was revealed was God’s unchanging hopes and concern for mankind, as well as God’s meticulous care and cherishing of humans. Until now, none of this has changed….” The Lord Jesus awakened the hearts of man in the way of appearing to them, enabling us to taste His concern for and pity on us. Such kind of concern and pity is not a legend, but a practical fact. Meanwhile, it helps us to know that God treats us as close to Him. He always accompanies us and never leaves us. God’s work doesn’t cease yet.
God’s words are all right. Since our ancestors Adam and Eve committed sin, God began His management plan and the work of salvation of us humans. At first, God used Moses to set forth the law, allowing people to know how to worship Him, how to sacrifice, and how to live on earth. If people violated or offended the law, they would be stoned to death. On the contrary, they would be blessed by Him. However, in the late period of the Age of Law, as people’s corruption became deeper and deeper and they committed sin more and more often, there were already not enough sin offerings to atone for their sins. As a consequence, they offered mixed-colored, lame sheep, cattle and pigeons upon the altar. With this continuing to develop in this way, people would all be condemned to death because of violations. God showed mercy for us humans, so, to save people from being condemned to death, He became flesh among humans personally, went to the cross for us humans, and provided Himself to be the sin offering forever, using His life to redeem us. It is just because the Lord Jesus became flesh and redeemed mankind that we are able to survive till now. The Lord initiated the Age of Grace. Thereupon, the whole mankind were qualified to enjoy the abundant grace.
In reality, every believer in the Lord Jesus have seen that in the spiritual pathway, when we meet temptations, the Lord will keep us away from or overcome them; when we suffer frustrations or failures, He will always give us confidence and strength, helping us steel ourselves; when we lack in life, He will be the very present help of us; when we encounter tests and are in pain, His words will illuminate and guide us in time, so we can understand God’s desires and thereby have peace and joy in spirit. We have practically tasted that it is God who leads us to go through all our life. God is by our side at all times and accompanies us every day, every minute and every second. …
When we truly experience God’s thoughtful intentions, we will truly understand why He appeared to His disciples.