The Proofs Jesus Gave the Apostles for His Resurrection
Jesus manifested Himself to the apostles repeatedly during the forty days of the post-resurrection period. During, that period, the Lord gave them “infallible proofs” which confirmed the crowning miracle of the resurrection. The apostle Luke wrote: “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). These proofs consisted of:
He Ate and Drank With Them
On one occasion, Jesus said to them, “Have you any food here?” So, they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence” (Luke 24:41–43 also John 21:4–13). By this action, Jesus wanted to convince His disciples that He was still a material physical being.
He Showed Them His Wounds
The Lord allowed them to see His real physical body which He permitted them to feel and touch. Thomas said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). Then, Jesus said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27).
Jesus gave Thomas what he asked for even though the apostle’s demand was unreasonable. There is no mention that Thomas took advantage of the offer. But the fact that the Lord could read the doubts of his heart was to him a convincing proof of His resurrection.
He Appeared to 500 Believers
Paul testified, “After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:6 also Matthew 28:7, 10, 16, 17; Luke 24:36–48; John 20:19–29). The eleven disciples, in compliance to Jesus’ instruction (Matthew 28:9, 10), went into Galilee to meet Him. They told the other believers about the gathering.
Over 500 believers came to the site and saw the resurrected Christ. The majority of these 500 were still alive when Paul wrote his epistle to the Corinthians. Together, they could testify to the surety of Christ’s resurrection. Thus, an occurrence that could be proved by so many eye witnesses could not be easily dismissed.
He Instructed Them
The Lord taught the apostles on the nature and principles of His kingdom. “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24: 27, 44–47 also; John 21:15–17; Acts 1:8). It was an important element in the teachings of Jesus that “all the scriptures” of the Old Testament pointed forward to His Messianic ministry.
The Old Testament has many references to which the Lord might have referred to (Genesis 3:15; Exodus 12:5; Numbers 21:9; 24:17; Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalms 22:1, 8, 16, 18; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, 7; 50:6; 53; Jeremiah 23:5; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; 12:10; 13:7; Malachi 3:1; 4:2; etc.).
The certainty of the resurrection gave strength and vitality to the preaching of the twelve disciples (Acts 2:32, 36, 37; 3:15; 4:10; 5:28, 30–33). It was the grounds on which they could build their preaching of the surety of the resurrection of the saints at the end of time (1 Corinthians 15:3–23). These evidences, that reveal the evidence for the resurrection as an accurate historical fact, are enough to persuade people throughout the ages.
In His service,