“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 Peter, 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.” – I Corinthians 15:3-8
Where’s Jesus? He continued to show up and appeared in surprising places at surprising times after his death and resurrection. These post-resurrection appearances changed the lives and future of the disciples in dramatic ways. The gospel accounts record Jesus appearing in a garden to Mary Magdalene, in the upper room with the gathered disciples, on the road to Emmaus, at the shores of Lake Galilee, and in a flash of blinding light to Saul on the way to Damascus. When Jesus shows up in your life, you are forever changed. Those timid and frightened disciples who ran away at Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion, became emboldened to preach to thousands at Pentecost, take the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection all through Europe, Africa and Asia, and to give their very lives for the cause of Christ.
It was through the disciples’ faithfulness to the great commission Jesus gave them, to take his teaching and baptism to the end of the earth that we have believed. The generations that followed were faithful to the message. And because of their testimony and dedication we can proclaim with confidence, He is risen! He is risen, INDEED! Join us this spring as we explore these post-resurrection encounters with Jesus. I trust that Jesus will appear to us as well, in the breaking of the bread and the reading of the Word, in our lives and in our neighborhood, and we will be forever changed.