Pastoral 2015

The Appearances of the Risen Christ

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 05 April 2015

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The New Testament affirms the resurrection of Christ as a historical event. The gospels and the epistles recorded the appearances of the Risen Christ. Moreover, the apostles insisted on His resurrection in their public teaching. Many appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament.

Consider the following New Testament records of the risen Christ’s appearances. (The following section is adapted from Easton’s Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.)

  1. To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is recorded at length only by John (20:11-18), and alluded to by Mark (16:9-11).
  2. To certain women, “the other Mary,” Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the sepulchre. Matthew (28:1-10) alone gives an account of this. (Comp. Mark 16:1-8, and Luke 24:1-11.)

    DIVINE SONGS

    Here are my choicest treasures hid;
    Here my best comfort lies;
    Here my desires are satisfied;
    And hence my joys arise.

    Lord, make me understand thy law;
    Show what my faults have been;
    And from thy Gospel let me draw
    Pardon for all my sin.

    Here would I learn how Christ has died
    To save my soul from hell:
    Not all the books on earth beside
    Such heavenly wonders tell.

    Then let me love my Bible more;
    And take a fresh delight
    By day to read these wonders o'oer
    And meditate by night

     
  3. To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.)
  4. To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection, recorded fully only by Luke (24:13-35. Comp. Mark 16:12, 13).
  5. To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others “with them,” at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance, John (20:19-24).
  6. To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14–18; Luke 24:33–40; John 20:26–28. See also 1 Cor. 15:5).
  7. To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of this appearance also John (21:1–23) alone gives an account.
  8. To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an appointed place in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; comp. Matt. 28:16–20).
  9. To James, but under what circumstances we are not informed (1 Cor. 15:7).
  10. To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they saw him ascend “till a cloud received him out of their sight” (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50–52; Acts 1:4–10). It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42, 43; John 21:12, 13).
  11. In addition to the above, mention might be made of Christ’s manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Saviour (Acts 9:3–9, 17; 1 Cor. 15:8; 9:1).
  12. It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may have been other appearances of which we have no record.

BW Retreat Testimony

Praise God for His provisions so that my family and I could sit at Christ’s feet to learn from His Word during the recent Bible Witness Retreat.

Acts 8:30-31 reads, “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”

Once again, the Lord has used Pastor’s sermons during the BW Retreat to open my eyes to behold such marvellous truths which I had not previously gleaned from my limited personal study of His Word.

My heart rejoices with thanksgiving that God’s outstretched arm has reached out to me – a Gentile – with His divine adoption! Though I am definitely unworthy, God has graciously bestowed upon me the glorious privilege of being called a child of the Most High God. It reminds me of Paul’s words in Rom 9:26, “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”

May my Heavenly Father empower me to “fear not… for it is (my) Father’s good pleasure to give (me) the kingdom” (Luke 12:32), as well as to “walk worthy of God, who hath called (me) unto His kingdom and glory” (1 Thess 2:12).

Dorcas Koshy