40 Days!

We just finished celebrating Easter – the world-changing, salvation-bringing recognition that Jesus has risen from the dead. Well, now what? Answer: Let’s not stop marveling because the resurrection account does not end on Easter Sunday! Acts 1:3 says, “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs [lit. convincing and decisive, indisputable], appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom [lit. God’s gracious rule over all people, kingdoms, time and His provision of salvation].” 1 Corinthians 15:6-8 says, “then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James and then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

I want us to put on our “sanctified imagination” hats and focus in on two words: forty days! Over the period of forty days he appeared to lots of people, showing various proofs of who He was and that he actually was alive and teaching about himself and the kingdom of God. Forty days of that! Not four days or forty hours, but forty days. Can you imagine what you would have seen and heard?

He ate with people, He laughed with people, He talked with people, He listened to people, He enjoyed the countryside with people, He confronted and enlightened people, He comforted people, He made people think and wrestle with Truth, He gave people incredible hope of life after death through faith in Him who had just conquered death, He loved people perfectly, He enjoyed his forty more days on earth with a real, but perfected physical body, yet experienced these days among a people and nature that was still fallen and sinful. Can you imagine that?

Then the forty days are almost over. Now what? Answer: Acts 1:8b says, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” A major reason why Jesus appeared to the disciples, and other nameless followers of Jesus, is to give them confidence to go out be witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ in all sorts of places to all sorts of people. 2000 years later, I hope that the account of Jesus appearing for forty days alive also gives you, and me, some of the same confidence today as it did the early followers of Jesus back then.