After Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) execution by crucifixion, His disciples gathered. They did not gather to plan their approach to carrying out Jesus’ mission. They gathered to comfort each other. They gathered behind locked doors, hiding from the Jews who they thought might want to kill them too (John 20:19). Later, they would gather to go back to their former lives. “I’m going fishing,” suggested Peter (John 21:3).
Then they saw Him!
Then they saw Him. Not just once, but a number of times. Death did not hold Him! He is alive! He ate with them. He cooked them breakfast. He talked and walked with them. Their doubt and despair became a certain faith. The resurrection became reality. Seeing the risen Savior changed everything for them.
- Fear no longer controlled them.
- They could be what He called them to be.
- They even became at peace with persecution
Less than two months after the crucifixion and less than two months after they went into hiding, they stand up in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost in the presence of thousands and declare, “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”‘ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:29-36).
Within a few more months they would face severe persecution for their faith in the resurrection. The authorities would have James killed. Stephen’s accusers would stone him while Saul of Tarsus watched in approval. This same Saul would meet the risen Savior and would turn his life completely around. The great persecutor became the persecuted. The resurrection of Christ changed everything!
It still does.
We can have assurance of eternal salvation because Christ rose from the dead.
Hallelujah, Christ arose!