The Eighth Resurrection Appearance

“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.’”
Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)

“After that, he appeared to more than five hundred
of the brothers and sisters at the same time,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”
1 Corinthians 15:6 (NIV)

As we approach the final appearances, the order up to the last is not really clear. I follow the order in A.T. Robertson’s Harmony of the Gospels.

Our Lord appeared to individuals, a large crowd of over 500, two disciples, the apostles, women, men, on a mountain, by the sea, in a locked room, on a road between villages, and at the empty tomb. He spoke to them, ate with them, prepared breakfast for them, taught them, and performed a miracle. So, the appearances were varied in numerous ways.

Today’s appearance is often called “The Great Commission”. Ever since our Lord delivered this commission it has been faithfully used as a platform for messages commissioning missionaries leaving for service abroad.

As believers, we all need to embrace it for ourselves. Every child of God is an ambassador residing in a foreign country with a message to the citizens from the foreign power we represent. We are pilgrims on a journey to the celestial city. We may not all be preachers but all of us are witnesses to the grace of God in our lives. Preachers prepare messages to deliver. Witnesses do not prepare messages, they simply tell others what has happened to them.

Our Lord said, that because all authority or power has been given to Him, His followers are to go, disciple and teach people to observe all Jesus taught. Our Lord wanted us to know He is sovereign and so His followers are assured of being supplied with all they need to do what Jesus commissioned them to do.

Christian, you will be given everything you need to fulfil God’s will for your life. It may be wisdom to make the right decision going forward. You may be certain of needed grace to endure adverse situations. Whatever the need is God’s grace is more than enough to see you through all of it.

John Newton, author of the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, penned the following:

Begone, unbelief,
My Savior is near,
And for my relief
Will surely appear;
By prayer let me wrestle,
And He will perform;
With Christ in the vessel,
I smile at the storm.

Though dark be my way,
Since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey,
’Tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken,
And creatures all fail,
The word He hath spoken
Shall surely prevail.

His love, in time past,
Forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last
In trouble to sink:
Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review
Confirms His good pleasure
To help me quite through.

Why should I complain
Of want or distress,
Temptation or pain?
He told me no less;
The heirs of salvation,
I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation
Must follow their Lord.

How bitter that cup
No heart can conceive,
Which He drank quite up,
That sinners might live!
His way was much rougher
And darker than mine;
Did Christ, my Lord, suffer,
And shall I repine?

Since all that I meet
Shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet,
The medicine, food;
Though painful at present,
’Twill cease before long,
And then, oh, how pleasant
The conqueror’s song!

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