The Appearances of Jesus

Today's Bible reading: The Appearances of Jesus

Jesus’ grave was empty.  But an empty grave by itself proves little.  It is the angel’s announcement that reveals the truth: “He is risen.”  As in Mark’s Gospel, Matthew and Luke also stress the natural fear of the women.  Fear is mixed with joy at the angel’s revelation … and yet there remains this feeling of “skeptical amazement” among the disciples when the women report what they have seen and heard.

St. Matthew tells us that the risen Lord appeared to the women even before they had reported the strange events at the tomb.  Even more important is the appearance to the eleven disciples and other believers in Galilee.  There on the mountain - (and, as we know, divine appearances often take place on mountains in the Bible) – [There on the mountain] Jesus shows Himself as the living Lord … and is worshipped and glorified.  He removes the doubts from their minds by revealing what His resurrection means: He is about to return to the Father … but they are to now take up the work of proclaiming Him as King.  He gives them His authority, so that they can go out to make disciples of all nations.  Here we see a feature that is vital to the Easter accounts: the risen Lord sends His authorized agents - His instruments of grace - out into the world to proclaim the Gospel.

Prayer: Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe.  In love You have given Your Son, Jesus Christ, into death for us and raised Him to life again; so raise us from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.