Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Jesus? Would you like to have a conversation with Him? Would you like to see the wounds on His wrists, feet, and side? Do you know He appeared to hundreds of people after He rose from the grave?
The story of someone rising from the dead, then ascending into heaven is hard for many to believe. They think it is like a science fiction movie. Yet, Jesus did just that. Not only did He do that, but He appeared to hundreds of people over the course of forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3b).
If you are a student of the Bible, if you read it and know the stories told within it, you will recognize many similarities to science fiction novels. That leads me to think the science fiction authors have read the Bible and are smart enough to see the miraculous events in the Bible as great inspiration to write their novels. As the old saying goes, life is stranger than fiction.
In today’s passage, we see that Jesus appeared to more than five hundred people between the time He rose for the grave and His ascension into heaven. Can you imagine the amazement of these people? Many of them had seen Him crucified. Some of them were His closest compadres and even His family. To see someone raised from the dead would amaze any of us, especially if we had been there when the person died or had seen the person lying in the casket.
Notice that Jesus died for each of us to fulfill the Scriptures, to fulfill prophecy, to fulfill God’s plan to rescue us. He was raised on the third day to give us the hope we all need—the hope that there is something better, perfect waiting for us. Jesus completed the mission He came to earth to complete.
Paul states that Jesus even appeared to Him. This occurred while He was traveling to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19). What an amazing encounter that was?! Can you imagine Jesus appearing out of the blue and suddenly you are struck blind? Paul needed this jolt to snap him out of the persecution he was committing and turn him into the loving apostle he became. Sometimes, we are like that aren’t we? We are hardheaded, stubborn, and simply want to do our own thing. Jesus can and will break us away from our errant ways when needed.
I pray we all acknowledge that Jesus rose and appeared to many. I pray we realize He can snap us out of our errant ways. I pray each one of us will turn to Him of our choosing. Know that Jesus rose from the dead. Know that He ascended to heaven. Know that He appeared to many. Know that He can break your old attitude and habits. Trust Him.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.