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When thewas born, He was hunted down by King Herod, enduring sufferings for thirty-three years in His whole life and worked for three and a half years. He saved man out of the bonds of the law and be nailed to the cross. He had finished the work of redemption, tasted life’s bitterness and sweetness. Why did He appear to people after His resurrection?
By Zhou Tao
It’s recorded in Acts 1:3, “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the:” Whenever reading this verse, a bunch of pious Christians wonder why the Lord Jesus appeared to people for forty days after resurrection. What’s the significance of the appearance? Thanks for the Lord’s guidance, I’m willing to share some of my knowledge.
We all know, before the Passion, the Lord Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, but found His disciples asleep several times. Do you know what the Lord was thinking? Assaid, “And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40-41). These words reflect the Lord’s extreme sorrow and anxiety, and show His forgiveness and concern for disciples. Once He was arrested by evil person, what would the state of disciples be? The Lord Jesus understood mankind most. He knew man’s faith was too immature. He was afraid that more people would be weak and negative, no longer follow Him. Hence, after the Lord Jesus appearing to people after resurrection, He ate with people at the same table, explaining the Scriptures and speaking heart-to-heart to them. Besides, He made more demands and exhortations of the followers. Because of the Lord’s actions, they felt the Lord’s care and His dearness and loveliness. Disciples and the Lord’s feelings grew deeper. They were more certain that the Lord Jesus is the incarnate God. Therefore, the reason why the Lord Jesus appeared to people for forty days was that He wanted to dismiss the disciples’ worries. So they believed strongly in the Lord’s work and no longer felt puzzled. Meantime, resurrecting from the dead made the disciples understand the Lord Jesus indeed served as a sin offering for humanity. He fulfilled the work of redemption, walking out of the valley of the shadow of death and overcoming the forces of darkness. Then, people could follow the Lord without hesitation and misgiving. This is one aspect of the meaning of the Lord’s appearance to the disciples.
On the other, people at that time stuck to the Old Testament laws, giving sacrifice and keeping the statutes and ordinances, praying to Jehovah God in heaven. They had a little understanding of God. If the Lord Jesus hadn’t appeared after resurrection, people would easily have gone back to the Age of Law and lived their old lives. Then the Lord’s plan of saving man would fall through. After the resurrection of Jesus, people indeed felt His true existence, could see and touch Him. As long as people prayed to the Lord with a true heart and obeyed His teachings, they could get more grace from the Lord and experience His more deeds. A new era was dawning. They stepped into the Age of Grace from the Age of Law. It was because of the Lord’s appearance that the disciples were willing to resolutely follow Him and spread the gospel without caring their lives. Finally, the Lord’s gospel has spread all over the world. We can be certain that the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest of visions for every Christian’s belief in the Lord.
Lately, I got inspiration and help from one spiritual book, it is said, “After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to the people He thought necessary, spoke with them, and made requirements of them, leaving behind His intentions, and His expectations of people. That is to say, as God incarnate, it doesn’t matter if it was during His time in the flesh, or in the spiritual body after being nailed to the cross and being resurrected—His concern for mankind and requirements of people did not change. He was concerned about these disciples before He was up on the cross; in His heart, He was clear on the state of every single person, He understood every person’s deficiency, and of course His understanding of every person was the same after He had died, resurrected, and become a spiritual body as it was when He was in the flesh. He knew that people weren’t entirely certain of His identity as Christ, but during His time in the flesh He did not make strict demands of people. But after He had been resurrected He appeared to them, and He made them absolutely certain that the Lord Jesus had come from God, that He was God incarnate, and He used the fact of His appearance and His resurrection as the greatest vision and motivation for mankind’s lifelong pursuit. His resurrection from death not only strengthened all those who followed Him, but also thoroughly put His work of the Age of Grace into effect among mankind, and thus the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ salvation in the Age of Grace gradually spread to every corner of humanity. … The appearance of the Lord Jesus materialized His intense concern for His followers in humanity and handed it over to His spiritual body, or you could say His divinity. His appearance allowed people to have another experience and feeling of God’s concern and care while also powerfully proving that God is the One who opens up an age, who develops an age, and He is the One who ends an age. Through His appearance He strengthened the faith of all people, and through His appearance He proved to the world the fact that He is God Himself. This gave His followers eternal confirmation, and through His appearance He also opened up a phase of His work in the new age” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). These words make me know clearly the significance of the Lord Jesus’ forty-day appearance after resurrection. Even though we didn’t experience this, the fact of the Lord’s appearance is the driving force of believing in the Lord. Furthermore, it is the greatest vision for everyone’s .
Thanks to the Lord’s guidance, my faith has increased more, and my knowledge of the Lord has become more practical. I will no longer separate God between heaven and earth. God is everywhere and knows all things from the beginning. May grace, peace, glory and praise be to the one true God. May the Lord’s more enlightenment always be with us. Amen!
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One may ask: The Bible says, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). It says that the one who confesses with the mouth and believes in the heart that Jesus is the Lord is saved. In fact, we do have believed in the Lord; however, does it mean that we have been saved thoroughly? Speaking of the topic of being saved, it is familiar to brothers and sisters. They are all firmly convinced that they have been saved thoroughly since they have believed in the Lord Jesus, and that they will be taken to the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes again. But is it really the case? What on earth is the true meaning of being saved? Is it true, as we think, that we are saved thoroughly as long as we believe in the Lord Jesus? We all know the Israelites had ever been enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh, undergoing all kinds of hardships. Jehovah God could not stand them being maltreated; therefore, He called Moses to lead them out of Egypt and then into the good land of Canaan. As for the Israelites of that time, they were saved. But it cannot be said that they no longer need the salvation of Jehovah God. Before they entered Canaan, Jehovah God set forth the law through Moses, causing them to know how to revere Him, how to serve Him, as well as how to live on earth, how to get along with others, etc. Henceforth, the work of God in the Age of Law made the Israelites know how to live, and to them, this means that they were saved again. However, at the end of the Age of Law, people were unable to keep the law, lost their reverence for God, and even offered blind and lame livestock on the altar. As a result, they all faced the danger of being condemned to death by the law. In order to rescue them from death, God incarnate came to earth and did a stage of work of redeeming mankind. The Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross as the sin offering for mankind, and bore the sins of man. For those accepting the salvation of the Lord Jesus, this means that they were saved again. As the Bible says, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9). Actually here it means that after accepting the Lord Jesus’ salvation of the cross, people will no longer be condemned by the law for failing to keep it. Nevertheless, although our human sins have been forgiven, it doesn’t mean that we have no sins, for all believers still live in the vicious cycle of committing sins only to confess them and then to continue on to sin again, and no one can break free from it. The Bible says, “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). We can see from these verses that although we have got the redemption of the Lord Jesus, we are not completely saved by God because our corrupt dispositions haven’t been purified yet. Therefore, God returns to flesh in the last days to do the work of thoroughly saving and purifying man. God says, “it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity”). “The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”). From God’s words we can see that we Christians are only forgiven of our sins by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. However, because the Lord Jesus didn’t do the work of thoroughly purifying our corrupt dispositions, thus if we want to utterly cast away the corruption to be cleansed and completely saved, we need to accept not only the Lord Jesus’ redemption, but also God’s work of judging and purifying man in the last days. Only when we, in the course of experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, gradually gain a true knowledge of our own corrupt substance, are able to break free of Satan’s influence of darkness and live by God’s words, can we be called the ones who are purified and saved thoroughly, that is, the ones who have received complete salvation and are truly saved. So, today when the Lord Jesus has returned, only if we walk out of the Age of Grace, follow the steps of God’s work, and accept the judgment of God’s words to have our corrupt disposition cleansed, can we be saved thoroughly by God, and ultimately be taken to a wonderful destination. 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