By Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” (Acts 1:1-3). This bold proclamation has been a foundation stone for this series of messages.
There were many infallible proofs, but only a few are revealed to us. For several weeks we have reviewed in a detailed fashion some of the events that occurred after the resurrection of our Lord. Here are three more marvelous experiences of people with our Lord.
The meeting with Thomas – “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John20:25). What doubt? What unbelief, even though he had heard Jesus say He was leaving!
However, when given the opportunity to do what he said, here is what happened, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). The meeting on the seashore – Jesus prepared a meal for the disciples and then again spoke to their hearts, especially Peter’s.
A ministerial calling was specifically given to Peter to strengthen the disciples and ultimately the new-born church. It was Peter who helped open the door for the gospel to be preached in Jerusalem (Acts 2), in Samaria (Acts 8) and into the Gentile world (Acts 10). The meeting of above 500 – This meeting is revealed by Paul in I Corinthians 15:6. This was presented as a meeting of brethren. More than 500 witnesses for any court case is a powerful statement.
However, I remember there was something else that occurred that may have been an overwhelming statement of the truth of the resurrection. “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose; And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Mat 27:52-53). While unable to prove this, I still wonder if many of these resurrected saints appeared with Christ in Jerusalem. Remember the words of Luke, there were “infallible proofs.”