For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also…
1 Corinthians 15 vv 3 – 8a
The 4 Gospels record some of the occasions when the Risen Christ appeared to the disciples, but these records are not exhaustive, as proved here by Paul’s description of the post-Resurrection appearances.
Luke describes Jesus’ ministry between Easter and the Ascension in Acts chapter 1 verses 3 to 5
As Paul travelled extensively, and talked to the 12 apostles and to many other Christians, he learnt that there had been other times when Jesus had appeared to individuals or groups of Christians.
How wonderful to have been part of that group of 500 meeting and speaking with Christ!
Imagine being in a meeting where some of those 500 shared their experience!
What do you think the Lord Jesus would have said to them?
How he would have blessed them!
How he would have strengthened their faith!
We are not living in those times of the physical appearances of the Lord Jesus.
But we can testify to the presence and the power of Christ in our own lives, can’t we?
In our daily lives, in our own times of prayer and reading the Bible, we sense the guiding hand of God.
As we reflect on our own dedication to Christ we become aware of his Divine prompting to follow him and be loyal to him.
The quality of our Holy Spirit-filled life and our spoken testimony is about the reality of the Risen Christ in our lives and in our circumstances.
Statistic say that in the UK 95% of people has no knowledge of the Bible at all; but those 95% are reading the lives of Christians on their street and in their work places.
The challenge for us is : are we so living close to Christ that other people will “read” about him in our lives?
Christian writer Adrian Plass records this event: “I remember making one of those interminable tube journeys from central London to some nameless suburb in the middle of nowhere. Two businessmen of the thrusting executive type got on a Baker Street and began talking in fruity, over-loud voices. They spoke of ‘oil’ and ‘productivity’ and ‘corporate industry’ and ‘international awareness’. As I listened to their confident tones, and admired their advanced strap-hanging techniques, I felt slightly inferior. Here were these hugely competent captains of industry on their way to clinch some multi-million pound deal, while I trundled off to my latest speaking engagement with a suitcase full of books for sale. My reverie was interrupted when the train arrived at about the third stop since Baker Street, and one of the two men peered out at the platform in sudden alarm.
‘We’re going the wrong way!’ he bleated.
The two high-flyers ducked out of the train, leaving me to reflect on the fact that while I might be a bit of a twit, at least I was going the right way.”
Referring to today’s Bible reading Adrian Plass concludes : “Paul is reminding his readers of the basic truths of Christian faith. Jesus is the way, and everything else depends on following his lead. This requires obedience rather than talent.”
When You Walk by Adrian Plass page 302
“The New Testament presents the Resurrection as the fulfilment of prophecy. It is a moment in history to which the empty tomb gave witness. It is a fact of experience signified by the meeting of the risen Christ with his apostles and other believers. It is the Kingdom of God bursting through by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is also our assurance of life to come in all the fullness that God wills for us.”
Salvation Story page 41
Goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death; victory is ours through him who loved us. Desmond Tutu, South Africa
A Prayer for Today
It is the Lord, in the dawning,
in the renewal,
in the arrival,
in the new day.
It is the Lord, in the crowd,
in the church,
in the conversation,
in the crisis.
It is the Lord, in our joys,
in our sorrows,
in our sickness,
in our health.
It is the Lord, in the stable,
in the humble,
in the stranger,
in the poor.
It is the Lord, risen and returned,
alive for evermore,
giving me new life,
saving me in strife,
It is the Lord.
David Adam, (1989)
When we stand gazing upwards, bring us down to earth:
with the love of a friend
through the songs of the sorrowing
in the faces of the hungry.
When we look to you for action, demand some work from us.
by the touch of fire
your glance of reproof
your fearful longing.
As ruler over all:
love us into action;
fire us with your zeal;
enrich us with your grace
to make us willing subjects of your rule.
Janet Nightingale (Christian Aid)
Thank you for reading
Written by Major Paul McNally
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