Easter, or Resurrection Sunday as it is also called, is a holiday which commemorates the Lord Jesus’ resurrection that occurred three days after He was crucified upon the cross. In order to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus the believers all over the world hold celebrations on the day of Easter. So while we are commemorating the resurrection of Jesus, do we know why He returned from the dead and appeared to man despite having already finished His work of redemption? And what is the meaning behind His resurrection and His appearance to man?
It is recorded in the Bible, “And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:30–32). “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” (Luke 24:36–40).
Reading the verses, we can’t help but think: Despite having already been a spiritual body after His resurrection, why did the Lord Jesus appear to people, speak with them, explain the Scriptures to them, and even let them touch Him? What’s the meaning of His doing so?
God’s words say: “The first thing that the Lord Jesus did after His resurrection was to allow everyone to see Him, to confirm that He exists, and to confirm the fact of His resurrection. In addition, it restored His relationship with the people to the relationship He had with them when He was working in the flesh, and He was the Christ they could see and touch. This way, one outcome is that the people had no doubt that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected from death after being nailed to the cross, and there was no doubt in the Lord Jesus’ work to redeem mankind. And another outcome is that the fact of the Lord Jesus appearing to people after His resurrection and allowing people to see and touch Him firmly secured mankind in the Age of Grace. From this time on, people could not return to the previous age, the Age of Law, because of the Lord Jesus’ ‘disappearance’ or ‘desertion,’ but they would continue forward, following the Lord Jesus’ teachings and the work He had done. Thus, a new phase in the work in the Age of Grace was formally opened up, and the people who had been under the law formally came out from the law from then on, and entered into a new era, with a new beginning. These are the manifold meanings of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to mankind after the resurrection.”
“After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to the people He thought necessary, spoke with them, and made requirements of them, leaving behind His intentions, and His expectations of people. That is to say, as God incarnate, it doesn’t matter if it was during His time in the flesh, or in the spiritual body after being nailed to the cross and being resurrected—His concern for mankind and requirements of people did not change. He was concerned about these disciples before He was up on the cross; in His heart, He was clear on the state of every single person, He understood every person’s deficiency, and of course His understanding of every person was the same after He had died, resurrected, and become a spiritual body as it was when He was in the flesh. He knew that people weren’t entirely certain of His identity as Christ, but during His time in the flesh He did not make strict demands of people. But after He had been resurrected He appeared to them, and He made them absolutely certain that the Lord Jesus had come from God, that He was God incarnate, and He used the fact of His appearance and His resurrection as the greatest vision and motivation for mankind’s lifelong pursuit. His resurrection from death not only strengthened all those who followed Him, but also thoroughly put His work of the Age of Grace into effect among mankind, and thus the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ salvation in the Age of Grace gradually spread to every corner of humanity. Would you say that the Lord Jesus’ appearance after His resurrection had any significance? … His appearance allowed people to have another experience and feeling of God’s concern and care while also powerfully proving that God is the One who opens up an age, who develops an age, and He is the One who ends an age. Through His appearance He strengthened the faith of all people, and through His appearance He proved to the world the fact that He is God Himself. This gave His followers eternal confirmation, and through His appearance He also opened up a phase of His work in the new age.”
From God’s words, we can see that there is a profound meaning to the Lord Jesus appearing to His disciples after He had returned from the dead, and God’s painstaking care and thought is also hidden behind it. Jesus knew that, although those who followed Him at the time had listened to many of His teachings and had seen many miracles performed by the Lord, and they claimed that Jesus was their Lord, yet they had no true understanding of the fact that Jesus was Christ and that He was God Himself. Especially after Jesus was nailed to the cross, many followers’ faith in Him grew weaker and weaker. God scrutinized the innermost hearts of man and understood their weaknesses. The Lord Jesus therefore returned from the dead and appeared to His disciples many times; He spoke with His disciples, He showed to them His spiritual body after the resurrection, and He ate with them and expounded on the Scriptures to them. His purpose in doing all this was to allow those who followed Him to be certain from the bottom of their hearts that the Lord Jesus had truly returned from the dead, that He was still the same Jesus who had loved man and taken mercy on man, that the Lord Jesus was the incarnate God Himself, and that He was the Messiah prophesied in the Bible who would come to redeem mankind. Thus, they no longer doubted or denied the Lord Jesus, but instead they sincerely believed in Him and they acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Lord. By resurrecting and appearing to man, Jesus strengthened people’s faith to believe in and follow the Lord, thus drawing man closer to God. This is one aspect to the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.
Besides this, after He resurrected, Jesus enabled people to see this fact even more clearly, that although the incarnated Jesus Christ had been crucified, yet He had overcome sin and death, He had defeated Satan, and He had completed His work of redeeming mankind and gained glory. The Lord Jesus began a new era, brought mankind utterly out of the Old Testament Age of Law and firmly established them in the Age of Grace. Thus, He enabled them to accept the guidance and shepherding of God in the Age of Grace. In this way, even though Jesus resurrected and ascended to heaven, and He no longer ate, abided or lived with man, man could still feel that the Lord was always with them and they could still pray to and call on Jesus’ name, keep His teachings, follow Jesus with unassailable faith and spread the Lord’s gospel.
It is therefore evident that the meaning behind Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance to mankind is so profound as, not only is God’s painstaking care and thought hidden within these deeds, but God’s wisdom and almightiness are hidden within them also! So, we understand the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection, and perceive within His work once again God’s care and concern for us mankind. Thanks be to God!
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What Is Easter Day? Do You Know the Real Meaning of Easter? was last modified: October 6th, 2019 by Find the Shepherd