How many times did Jesus appear between His resurrection and ascension?

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By BibleAsk Team


The period between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension is a pivotal time in Christian theology, marked by several significant appearances of Jesus to His disciples. These appearances serve to affirm His resurrection, commission His followers, and prepare them for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This essay explores the appearances of Jesus during this period as recorded in the New Testament, with references from the Bible.

The Appearances of Jesus After the Resurrection

After His resurrection, Christ appeared multiple times to His disciples over a span of forty days before ascending to heaven. These appearances provided irrefutable evidence of His victory over death and laid the foundation for the spread of the gospel message. The accounts of these appearances offer invaluable insights into the nature of Jesus’ resurrected body, His ongoing ministry, and His final instructions to His followers.

The post-resurrection appearances of the Savior testify that He is the Son of God and the Messiah of the world. The surety that He is “alive for evermore” and has “the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18) is one of the strongest evidences of the truthfulness of Christianity. The following are the Savior’s appearances that are recorded in the Bible that took place between His resurrection and His ascension:

  1. To Mary Magdalene early Easter morning (John 20:11-18).
  2. To the women at Christ’s tomb early Easter morning (Matthew 28:8-10).
  3. To Peter early to mid-day Easter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
  4. To the Emmaus Disciples late Easter afternoon (Luke 24:13-32).
  5. To the Eleven disciples without Thomas on Easter evening (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23).
  6. To the Eleven disciples with Thomas the following Sunday after Easter (John 20:24-29).
  7. To the 500 believers at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). Most of the 500 were still alive when Paul wrote his epistle.
  8. To James and the 72 apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7). There is a distinction between Christ’s appearance to “the twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:5) and his appearance to “all the apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:7). Beside the twelve disciples, Christ also had a larger group of disciples – “seventy-two” in number (Luke 10:10).
  9. To Peter in the meeting with the seven disciples near the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-23).
  10. To the disciples at the Great Commission Gathering (Matthew 28:16-20). It is possible that this meeting is the same as the one with the 500 believers.

Afterwards, the Savior ascended to heaven (Acts 1:1-11) to continue His ministry on behalf of the the believers (Hebrews 4:14-16). The Savior’s appearances after the Resurrection helped the disciples and others confirm the reality of the resurrection that it was a true event. And because the disciples were convinced of this reality, they were able to preach the Word and witness being empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 3:12–21; 4:8–13, 20; 29–32; 1 Corinthians 15:1–23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 17; 1 John 1:1–3).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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