Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Preserved in Jesus Christ – Day 10

Forty Days that Shook the World

Bible text(s)

3For forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive. They saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God.

39Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is I myself. Feel me, and you will know, for a ghost doesn't have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.”

40He said this and showed them his hands and his feet. 41They still could not believe, they were so full of joy and wonder; so he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of cooked fish, 43which he took and ate in their presence.

44Then he said to them, “These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the Psalms had to come true.”

45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Luke 24:39-45GNBOpen in Bible reader

Many people, even today, do not believe in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus had explained that those who did not listen to Moses and the prophets would not be convinced, even if someone were to rise from death. (Luke 16:31)

If Jesus had remained buried in the tomb, the Christian faith would be nothing but a delusion (1 Corinthians 15:17). However, the truth is that Christ triumphed over death and for 40 days appeared to his followers, convincing them that it was truly him and his resurrected body bore the marks of his suffering.

He convinced them of the reality of his resurrection. Mary Magdalene recognised him by the way he spoke to her, others by the way he explained the scriptures and said the blessing before breaking bread and giving it to them.

While some of the disciples were hearing about this, the Lord suddenly appeared among them. They were scared, thinking it was a ghost, but he reassured them. “Look at my hands and feet and see that it is I myself. Feel me and you will know, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.” Luke 24:39

The Bible says that they were so full of joy and wonder; this was truly their Jesus in the flesh. “Then he reminded them of all he had taught them and that everything written about him in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets and the Psalms had to come true. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:44-45

Jesus knew how vitally important it was for his followers to truly believe that he had risen from the dead and because of him, they too would rise from the dead.

They, whose courage had wavered and failed them during his suffering and death, now had renewed hope and direction. Whilst just thinking about the act of dying may have terrified them, as it does most of us, death itself now held no more fears. All the apostles (except for one) would face martyrs’ deaths, but they were not deterred.

Imbued by the risen Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, they spread the story of his life, death, resurrection and ascension to their life’s end. Christ has risen. He has risen indeed!

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