How Long Did Jesus Stay After His Resurrection?
Jesus stayed forty days on earth after His resurrection. Luke wrote, “To whom also He shewed himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Jesus did this to strengthen, teach, and confirm the faith of His disciples.
In the forty days after the resurrection, Christ stayed on the earth to prepare His disciples for the work before them. One of His encounters with them was at the road to Emmaus. On this occasion, Jesus, “…beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). He spoke of the prophecies concerning His advent, His rejection by the Jews, and His death (Isaiah 53, Ezekiel 2:3-6, Deuteronomy 21:23). Therefore, He showed that every specification of these prophecies had been fulfilled.
The Lord told the two disciples that they were to see this fulfillment of prophecy regarding His life, death, and resurrection as an assurance of the power that would attend them in their future evangelistic labors. “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” He added, “Ye are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:45-48).
The Need for Affirmation and Reconciliation
After Christ’s resurrection, He met with certain disciples to address some issues. And He revealed Himself to the disciples and called them to receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-22). However, Thomas was not there. He decided that he would not believe the report of the other disciples unless he saw Jesus’ wounds for himself (verses 24, 25). So, Christ in His mercy, gave Thomas an opportunity to touch His pierced hands and side (verses 26-27). “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (verse 29).
Also, Peter needed reconciliation. For he had denied Christ three times (Luke 22:54-62). Although Peter had done this, the Lord still sought after him and desired him to be a leader in the church. Therefore, He asked Peter a question three times publicly.
“He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” The Lord said to him, “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17). In this interaction, Peter showed his repentance and desire to fully follow Christ. It also showed the Lord’s ability to get to the heart of the matter and make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).
Many Unknown Things
On two accounts, the disciple John shared that there were many things that Jesus did that were not recorded during these 40 days. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book” (John 20:30). And he added, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25).
We don’t know what may have occurred, as it may have been something special or specifically beneficial to just the disciples at that time (Deuteronomy 29:29). John also reiterated that what was written of Jesus is most important as it is for our salvation.
The Great Commission
The disciples were to make known to the world the events of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Also, they were to share the mysteries of the plan of salvation and the power of Jesus for the remission of sins. To all these things they had been witnesses.
The Lord said to His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20). After that, the disciples saw Jesus ascending to heaven (Acts 1:9).
In His service,