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Jesus to be born, that died and rose again, prior to ascending right into heaven. These truths are foundational come our Christian faith. We recognize the acquainted stories of the Triumphal Entry, the last Supper and also the crucifixion, but what happened in between the resurrection and ascension?

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oriental painting the Doubting thomas in Hosios Loukas Monastery, Boeotia, GreeceWikimedia

The passion narrative is well known and also often accounted both in art and in the Church, however the details the the 40 days in between Jesus' resurrection and ascension are far less well known.

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While Matthew and also Mark's post-resurrection accounts room compartively much shorter than Luke and John's, all four Gospels share details the enlighten us on Jesus' life ~ death.

The Gospels speak of 10 apparitions the the risen Jesus, 5 of which happen on the work of his resurrection, and five more times before he ascended right into heaven. We recognize from plot 1 that he was on earth for 40 days, and also that he invested these days through his disciples:

"After his suffering, that (Jesus) presented himself to them and also gave countless convincing proofs of that he to be alive. He appeared to them end a duration of fourty days and spoke about the kingdom the God." (Acts 1:3)

OK, so what did he in reality do?

Appeared come women

Jesus revealed self to mar Magdalene before any type of other person. Having actually just watched Jesus' empty tomb, she stayed in the garden weeping, once Jesus showed up to her. She mistook him to it is in the gardener, however when he dubbed her by name, mary recognised his voice. 


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The idea the a woman would be a valid witness may seem plausible in 21st Century west society, yet it was unheard of in 1st Century Palestine. The testimony of women was not offered the same weight together that the a man, one of two people personally or in a court the law. The Jesus chose to disclose himself to Mary very first was revolutionary. The then sent out her come "go and also tell" the other disciples. The trusted her to phone call his pendant of his return.

His 2nd appearance to be to the team of ladies who had been v Mary in the graveyard. ~ above their method from having seen the apostles, Jesus appeared to them, and "they come up and also took hold of his feet and worshipped him." (Matthew 28:9)

Appeared to his disciples

Later that day, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to two disciples – one referred to as Cleopas – yet they were slow-moving to realise the the guy beside them was the climbed Messiah. It to be not until he damaged bread through them, after they had defined to the the events of the passion, that "their eyes were opened and also they recognised him" (Luke 24.31).

It was not till they recognised him the Jesus left. He did not abandon his disciples once they go not check out it to be him, but remained v them till they realised the their hearts had been "burning within united state while the talked through us".

Similarly, during his next appearance shortly afterwards, Jesus was no perturbed by his disciples mistaking him for a ghost. Instead, he reassured them: "Look at my hands and also my feet. It is ns myself! Touch me and also see; a ghost does not have actually flesh and bones, as you watch I have." (Luke 24:39)

His life after ~ the resurrection was no the result of sinister spirituality, however of Biblical prophecy. He attracted his disciples far from superordinary speculation in the direction of the Biblical structures of his resurrected body:

"This is what ns told you while ns was still with you: everything must be fulfilled the is written about me in the regulation of Moses, the Prophets and also the Psalms" (Luke 24.44).

Appeared to Thomas

We all know the rigid of 'doubting Thomas'. He had not been v the disciples when Jesus revealed himself, and did not think the hands-on worker testimony, saying: "Unless I watch the nail marks in his hands and also put my finger where the pond were, and put mine hand right into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:25)

In this encounter we view both the compassion and also the challenge that Jesus brings. Rather than leaving cutting board without faith, Jesus "came and stood amongst them" – offering tranquility in order the he can believe, saying: "Stop doubting and also believe." (John 20:27)

Redeemed and reinstated Peter

The Gospel of john then speak the story of Jesus' last tape-recorded miracle, when he overwhelmed his disciples' fishing nets v a substantial catch the fish. He climate speaks privately with Peter. Simply as Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus asks him 3 times: "do girlfriend love me?" that is right here that Peter is restored, having denied his understand in his hour the need, and also is called to "feed mine sheep" and also "follow me". (John 21: 17, 19)

Jesus' loyalty is greater than ours. Jesus observed Peter's weakness, however he additionally saw his love because that him, and also chose to was standing by him. Despite he experienced Peter's limitations, that did not specify him by them.

The great Commission

Matthew and also Mark both close v the "Great Commission" – Jesus' instruction come his hands-on worker to walk out right into the world and also spread the great news that salvation.

"All government in heaven and also on earth has been provided to me. Thus go and also make hands-on worker of every nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and also of the Son and of the holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey whatever I have actually commanded you. And surely i am v you always, to the really end that the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

It is after this command, top top which lot of the Christian emphasis on share the gospel is based, the Jesus is "taken up right into heaven".

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Jesus' ministry go not finish with his death, yet continued v his resurrection and also into the days prior to his ascension into heaven. In this time, he revealed and reaffirmed an essential elements both that his character and also his commission.