from my perspective…
Following the crucifixion, no one believed Jesus was God, except the angels. His Disciples didn’t nor the women who traveled with them.
“On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they [the women] went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.” (Luke 24:1, ESV)
The women went to anoint the body of a dead Jesus, not a Risen Christ. The men stayed indoors for fear of the Jews.
The Romans had bowed to the demands of the Jewish leaders and executed the Galilean. It was reasonable to think that soldiers would be coming at any minute to arrest His Galilean followers as well.
Then, in the evening of the day after the women had reported the empty tomb and the angel’s words, two disciples returned from Emmaus with news that they had seen and talked with the risen Jesus.
“And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
“Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.”
As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. Still, they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.” (Luke 24:36–43, NLT)
We can imagine the surprise and skepticism that must have swirled in his disciple’s minds. One on hand, they saw him scourged and crucified. On the other hand, he was standing before them, asking for something to eat. Ghost and spirits don’t eat.
For forty days after that, Jesus made his presence known as he prepared his disciples to be “witnesses that there is forgiveness of sins for all who repent” (Ll. 24:48), disciple-makers (Mt. 28:19-20), proclaimers of the Good News to anyone who believes” (Mk. 16:15), and shepherds of God’s children (Jn. 21:15-17).
When Jesus began His mission, he read from the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” (Luke 4:18–19, NLT)
His Apostles were sent out to continue His mission after His death and resurrection. How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, live out His mission today?
Come and see and hear.
Your mission-oriented pastor, Dennis