The Resurrection of Jesus Christ has always been one of the most significant events in Christianity. It is a pivotal moment that symbolizes hope, redemption, and salvation for believers across the globe. However, what happened after the resurrection? This question has puzzled many people throughout history.
There is no doubt that the Resurrection signifies an unprecedented event, but little is known about what happened next. What did Jesus do after his miraculous return from the dead? Did he continue to teach and preach, or did he disappear into obscurity?
These questions are essential as they help us understand the bigger picture of what Christianity represents. The Bible provides several accounts of what occurred after the Resurrection, and each account offers unique details that enhance our understanding of this transformative period in history.
“If you look at history … everything that’s done is done by religious zealots. ” -Christopher Hitchens
This blog post will delve deeper into the aftermath of the Resurrection and provide valuable insights into what happened afterward. From exploring the appearance of Jesus before his disciples to examining the early Christian Church, this article aims to shed light on some of the many mysteries surrounding the Resurrection.
If you are curious about what transpired after the Resurrection, then keep reading!
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
After the resurrection of Jesus, his disciples were in disbelief and wonderment. They had witnessed their Lord being crucified and buried. But after a few days, rumors started circulating that Jesus was not seen in the tomb where he was laid. And as they gathered together, Jesus appeared among them.
Jesus’ first interaction with his disciples after the resurrection happened on the evening of the same day. The door was locked because they were afraid of the authorities. Suddenly, Jesus just stood among them and greeted them, “Peace be with you”. The disciples were startled and thought it was a ghost, but Jesus showed him his hands and feet. After realizing it was truly Jesus, they rejoiced and worshiped him. (John 20:19-20)
“The appearances of Jesus are as well authenticated as anything in ancient history” – Brooke Foss Westcott
The Empty Tomb
The women who followed Jesus were some of the first witnesses of his empty tomb. On the morning of the third day after Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb only to find that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. She immediately ran to Peter and John for help, and they came to see the empty tomb for themselves (John 20:1-10).
The fact that the tomb was empty served as one piece of evidence to support the claim that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Even though the disciples did not yet understand or believe what had occurred, these events slowly compelled them to reconsider everything they had previously learned and understood about Jesus Christ.
“It was the Resurrection which lit up the gloom hanging over any uncertainty and incredulity.” – Pope Paul VI
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene was a loyal follower of Jesus, and according to the New Testament, she was the first person to see him after he rose from the dead. She went to visit his tomb on that third day after his death, only to find it empty. As she wept outside the tomb, two angels appeared to her and asked why she was crying (John 20:11-13).
When Jesus appeared before her, He comforted her by calling out her name. Jesus had transformed into His resurrected form because all those who were closest to remember Him would be able to recognize Him as they always knew Him. With that, Mary understood what happened, and she announced the news of Jesus’ resurrection to the disciples.
“We can live with hope because Christ has risen!” – Pope Francis
Jesus Appears to His Disciples in Jerusalem
The appearances of Jesus after his resurrection continued even days afterward. In one instance, Jesus revealed himself to two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus but did not reveal himself immediately. After talking about the Scriptures and eating together, their eyes became opened to how everything they just experienced and heard points back to Jesus (Luke 24:13-35).
In another event, Jesus once again appeared among His disciples, telling them to wait for the Holy Spirit (Acts1:4). After giving instructions to share the Gospel throughout the world and promising to return, Jesus then ascended into heaven.
“The Resurrection teaches us to never despair however great our difficulties may be. God’s love is more powerful than death.” – Archbishop William LoriIn conclusion, What Happened After Jesus Resurrection was pivotal to the early Christian faith. It proved that Jesus was indeed the Son of God as He had claimed to be. These events paved the way for Christianity to spread throughout the world, and the faithful continue celebrating them to this day.
The Great Commission
Go and Make Disciples of All Nations
After Jesus’ resurrection, he commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. This is known as the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20). It was not just a command to evangelize or share the good news but also to lead people into becoming followers of Jesus. The commission was given to all Christians, not just the apostles.
Jesus did not give them specific instructions on how they should do it or where they should start; they were simply to go. They were to bring the message of salvation to everyone and invite them to participate in the Kingdom of God.
The mission of making disciples continues today, and every Christian has the responsibility to share their faith with others. It’s something that is meant to be done intentionally and consistently. Sharing one’s testimony, inviting people to church gatherings, and engaging in conversations about faith are simple yet effective ways to reach out to others.
Baptizing Them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Baptism plays an important role in the process of making disciples. By being baptized, we publicly declare our faith in Jesus Christ and identify ourselves as his followers. Baptism symbolizes death to sin and rebirth in Christ. It’s a significant moment in the life of believers and marks the beginning of their spiritual journey.
In following the Great Commission, we are called to baptize new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through baptism, we become part of God’s family, and our sins are forgiven. It’s a powerful act of obedience, faith, and submission to God.
Baptism alone does not save us. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. Baptism is an outward expression of our inward transformation, but it’s not necessary for salvation.
Teaching Them to Observe All Jesus Commanded
The Great Commission also includes teaching new disciples to observe all that Jesus commanded. We are to teach them to follow his teachings, obey his commands, and live a life that reflects his love and grace.
Discipleship involves more than just sharing knowledge; it’s about modeling what it means to be a Christian and helping others grow in their relationship with God. This requires investing time, energy, and resources in the lives of new believers and committing to walk alongside them through their spiritual journey.
Discipleship relationships can take many forms – one-on-one mentoring, small group Bible studies, or intentional conversations over coffee. The important thing is to provide support and encouragement as they mature in their faith and learn how to apply God’s Word in their daily lives.
Jesus Promises to Be with Them Always
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20b
The Great Commission may seem daunting, but we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus promised to be with us always. He understands our weaknesses and struggles and provides us with the power and strength needed to fulfill his mission. We are never alone in this task.
We are called to bring hope to a broken world by sharing the message of God’s love and grace. It’s not always easy, but it’s rewarding when people respond to the gospel and become followers of Christ. Through obedience to the Great Commission, we participate in advancing the Kingdom of God and making a positive impact in people’s lives.
As we continue to make disciples, let’s remember Jesus’ promise to be with us and trust in his guidance and provision. May we be faithful to the task he has given us and share his love with those around us.
The Ascension of Jesus
After the resurrection, Jesus spent forty days with his disciples before ascending into heaven. This event, known as the ascension of Jesus, marks the end of his earthly ministry and the beginning of a new era for his followers.
Jesus is Taken Up into Heaven
In the book of Acts, Luke recounts that after spending time with his disciples teaching and performing miracles, “He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9 NIV). Jesus’ physical body was lifted up from the earth and vanished into the clouds overhead.
The ascension is significant because it completes the redemption story that began with Jesus’ birth. He came to earth to save humanity from sin and death, and through his crucifixion and resurrection, he accomplished this mission. His ascension signals his return to glory and emphasizes his divine nature. The event also shows that heaven is real and that Jesus is there, representing his faithful followers.
Disciples Watch as Jesus Disappears into the Clouds
The disciples who were present at the ascension witnessed an incredible sight as Jesus disappeared into the clouds. They must have felt a mixture of awe and sadness at seeing their beloved teacher leave them once again. However, they knew that Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower them for their own ministries, so they waited faithfully in Jerusalem for its arrival.
One disciple who experienced the ascension firsthand was Peter, who later wrote about it in one of his letters to Christians spread throughout Asia Minor:
“He was taken up in the clouds, and we will likewise be caught up together with them in the air to meet the Lord in the heavens.” -2 Peter 3:4
Two Angels Appear to the Disciples
As the disciples gazed up into the sky, two angels appeared and spoke to them:
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” -Acts 1:11 NIV
The angels were reminding the disciples that Jesus’ ascension was not the end of his ministry but rather a temporary departure. He would return someday to complete the final phase of salvation history.
The Angels Tell the Disciples Jesus Will Return in the Same Way
Just as Jesus had returned to glory by ascending into heaven, so too would he return at the appointed time. As the apostle John wrote many years later:
“Look! He is coming with the clouds,”and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.” -Revelation 1:7 NIV
This promise gives Christians hope and reassurance that Jesus’ mission is not yet over. He will come again to establish his kingdom fully and reign forevermore. In the meantime, believers are called to live faithfully and obediently, sharing the good news of salvation through Christ with others.
The ascension of Jesus marks a pivotal moment in Christian history. It reminds us of Jesus’ divinity, points to his ultimate return, and empowers his followers to continue spreading the gospel message until he comes again.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
After Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension to heaven, the disciples were left waiting for the promised Holy Spirit to come. They gathered together in Jerusalem during the Jewish festival of Pentecost when suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind filled the room where they were meeting.
The Holy Spirit descended on each of them as tongues of fire, and they began to speak in different languages they had not previously known.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” -Acts 2:1-4
The Holy Spirit Descends on the Disciples
As mentioned above, after Jesus’ ascension, the disciples were instructed to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This event happened during the Jewish holiday of Pentecost, which was celebrated fifty days after Passover.
The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in what must have been an incredible experience. The Scripture describes it as “a sound like a mighty rushing wind” and “divided tongues as of fire” resting on each of them. From this moment forward, the Holy Spirit would empower and guide the disciples in sharing the gospel message throughout the world.
Disciples Begin Speaking in Different Languages
One of the most notable effects of receiving the Holy Spirit was that the disciples began to speak in different foreign languages. The people who heard them speaking were amazed because they recognized the disciples as being from Galilee, which was known for its distinct accent. Yet, these followers of Jesus were now speaking fluently in languages that the listeners knew well.
The miracle of speaking in different tongues was evidence to both believers and unbelievers that something supernatural was happening through the Holy Spirit’s power. It allowed the gospel message to be shared with people who would otherwise have been unable to understand it.
Peter Addresses the Crowd and Explains What is Happening
As a result of the commotion caused by the disciples’ speaking in different languages, a large crowd gathered around them. Peter stepped forward to explain what was happening and how this event fulfilled prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah.
“Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…'” -Acts 2:14-17
Peter goes on to proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection, inviting those listening to repent and receive forgiveness of sins. The Holy Spirit empowered Peter’s words as he spoke boldly to the crowd, leading many to believe in Jesus that day.
Three Thousand People Are Baptized and Added to the Church
The impact of Pentecost was immense. Not only did the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and begin speaking in other languages, but Peter preached a powerful sermon to a fascinated audience. As a result, three thousand people repented and were baptized, adding to the number of believers in the early church.
The Holy Spirit’s arrival marked a significant moment in human history. The disciples were no longer bound by their physical limitations but empowered by God to spread his message throughout the world. This event served as a catalyst for the growth of the Christian faith and laid the foundation of the early church.
“Acts chapter two is an amazing account of the coming of the Holy Spirit, a major epochal event, which brought great rejoicing in heaven and on earth.” -Reinhard Bonnke
The Spread of Christianity
Persecution of Christians Begins
After Jesus’s resurrection, his disciples began to preach the gospel across the Roman Empire. They did so passionately and fervently, convinced they were sharing The Good Word. Despite this early success, Roman officials were quick to take notice of these followers of a new religion. To many in power at the time, Christianity was perceived as a threat, or at best, an annoyance.
“As the number of Christians grew, it became increasingly difficult for authorities to turn a blind eye,” writes Laura Thorp on Church History 101. “Especially since these same people refused to worship the Emperor and answerable only to God.”
Stephen is Stoned to Death for His Faith
One of the first recorded persecutions occurred shortly after Pentecost—the Jewish holiday that celebrates God’s giving of the Torah to Moses. Stephen, one of the Seven Deacons mentioned by the apostles, was caught preaching the Gospel and falsely accused of blasphemy against Moses and God. He was taken before the Sanhedrin, found guilty, and stoned to death not far from Jerusalem. This led to further persecution of Christ-followers inside and outside of Jerusalem, forcing many believers to scatter throughout the region, taking their message with them.
Saul Persecutes Christians Until He is Converted on the Road to Damascus
A well-known detractor from the Christian faith during this time was Saul (later known as Paul), who made it his mission to hunt down believers and imprison them. It wasn’t until he had a powerful encounter with the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus that he converted and became one of the most passionate champions of the faith. Even then, he continued to face harassment and persecution for his beliefs.
“Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews,” Paul writes in 2 Corinthians. “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I experienced shipwreck, a night and a day I spent adrift at sea.”
The Gospel Continues to Spread Despite Persecution and Opposition
Despite—or perhaps because of—their persecution, Christians persevered in spreading their message, albeit sometimes underground or through secret networks (read: The Book of Acts). It took many years, but Christianity eventually became a mainstream religion, synonymous with western civilization and culture as we know it.
“For those of us in Western civilization, Christianity is so deeply ingrained that we are largely unaware of its influence.” -David Bentley Hart
After Jesus’s resurrection, Christianity spread quickly throughout the Roman Empire, thanks to the disciples’ zealousness. Unfortunately, this also led to early persecution, such as Stephen’s brutal death. Even followers like Saul, who later converted and became an integral part of Christianity’s success, first worked against believers. Despite opposition, however, the Christian faith has survived for centuries, having an irrefutable impact on society and world history.
Frequently Asked Questions
What were the reactions of Jesus’ disciples after his resurrection?
Jesus’ disciples were initially skeptical of his resurrection, but after seeing him in person, they became convinced and joyful. They went on to spread the message of his resurrection and establish Christianity.
Did Jesus appear to anyone after his resurrection besides his disciples?
Yes, Jesus appeared to many people after his resurrection, including Mary Magdalene, two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and a group of 500 followers at once. These appearances helped to confirm the reality of his resurrection.
What happened during Jesus’ ascension into heaven?
Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven in the presence of his disciples. He blessed them and gave them the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations, promising to be with them always.
How did the early Christian church interpret Jesus’ resurrection?
The early Christian church saw Jesus’ resurrection as the ultimate victory over sin and death. It was the foundation of their faith and the reason for their hope. They believed that through Jesus’ resurrection, they too could have eternal life.
What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection for Christians today?
For Christians today, Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of their faith. It gives them hope for eternal life and the assurance that God has the power to triumph over evil. It is a reminder that death is not the end and that there is always the hope of new life in Christ.
What is the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus?
There is significant historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, including eyewitness accounts, the empty tomb, and the transformation of his disciples. Many scholars and historians agree that these facts make a strong case for the reality of Jesus’ resurrection.