Continued from Jesus is the Empty Tomb.
After Jesus was executed and rose from the dead, people saw him.
A person named Celopas and an acquaintance encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
People ate with the resurrected Christ, multiple times.
Jesus talked with a lot of people.
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” ~ Luke 24:45-49
The account in the Gospel of Luke mentions repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it’s written, it can easily mean repenting because you’ve been forgiven. Not insisting you repent, before you’re forgiven. But more important, it doesn’t mention Jesus sacrificing for our sins, it says the disciples witnessed the risen Christ.
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matt 24:16-20
Jesus didn’t die for our sins, he died to prove who he was. A little more than 2,000 years ago God walked the earth as a human. He was executed by the government and then he came back to life.
The miracle of resurrection was enough to convince me the four different Gospels were true, because of what it said, and because of what happened next.
All of the people who witnessed the resurrected Christ were dramatically, irrevocably changed. Like a new day dawning, they couldn’t return to the way they were if they wanted to. In fact, after Jesus was executed, they did try to return to their old lives, and they were confronted by the resurrected Jesus. (Excellently portrayed in the movie, Risen.
They knew Jesus was from God, of God, and the son of God. They began to earnestly share his message of love, and all that meant.
They began spreading the message of Jesus, and that message had traveled far across the region and several continents by the time the letters of the Bible were written.
The message was simple and remains simple.
God loves us and wants us to love God and to love others. To prove it, God was born, God died, and God was resurrected.
Thanks be to God.