The Second, Third, and Fourth Appearance
The story continues with excitement. All of this happening rather quickly. The women who first arrived at the tomb to see it opened were on their way to tell the disciples. Peter, John, and Mary have passed them running the opposite way – to the tomb.
Peter and John have left for their own homes. Mary remained at the tomb and Christ appears to her. Then she leaves as well. Then, Christ supernaturally transports Himself to the road where the women are running. They are running to tell the disciples.
Matthew 20:9 says that Jesus met them and greeted them. Now this is fascinating. The Greek says that Jesus just say “Hello.” Nothing extravagant, just a common greeting that they would use with anyone passing on the road. Christ still has His human sensitivity. He is still tender toward man.
The women knew it was Jesus and fell to His feet and worshiped. The emotion is heightened to another degree. When these women saw the cross, they sympathized. When they saw the angel and felt the earthquake, they felt terror. When they saw the empty tomb, they felt joy. Now they are seeing the risen Lord and they feel adoration.
The greatest being to ever behold was standing before them. Then their adoration was accompanied with fear once again – a holy God before them. They realized the truth of the resurrection and remembered their forgetfulness. Jesus says to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
Luke picks up the story. Two disciples were walking on a road. They were heading to Emmaus. They were conversing about what had taken place. Jesus appears next to them like any other person and speaks to them. He says, “What these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” They stood still and were moved to sadness. They didn’t believe in the resurrection. They were crushed that their Lord had been crucified. And they were puzzled as to why this man asked them such an odd question.
The crucifixion of Christ was the biggest thing. Everyone knew about it. They responded to Jesus, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” They sort of asked Jesus, “Where have you been the last few days? Don’t you know what happened? Everyone knows what happened!”
Jesus calls them fools and begins to unpack the Scriptures to them. They still didn’t get it. Still, they were intrigued. They begged Him to come and stay at their house for dinner. Jesus agrees and then breaks the bread and opens their eyes. They believed that evening. Jesus, the Son of God, has risen from the dead. Jesus vanished from them.
The two men left their home immediately to go to Jerusalem where the eleven disciples were staying. They began to tell them what had happened. But the disciples still did not believe. They had heard it from the women, they saw the empty tomb, and yet they still did not believe.
So Jesus suddenly appears among them and startles them because the doors were locked. He rebukes them and says, “Peace be with you.” He then convinces them of His resurrection by showing His bodily wounds. He spends some time with the disciples eating food. He teaches them again and breathes the Holy Spirit on them and then leaves.
But Thomas was not there yet. He missed the whole event. For eight days they spoke of this, but Thomas still doubted. He still did not believe. Then Jesus appeared among them again. This time Thomas touches Him and believes.
Jesus remains with them for a while longer and appears to many more people. Then in the greatest culmination of glory, He ascends to heaven.
This is the resurrection story.