JERUSALEM, APRIL 10, AD 30
Seven further appearances of Jesus were reported Sunday, bringing the total alleged appearances to nine. The first appearance was reported by Mary Magdalene and four other women near the burial tomb, who said it occurred about three thirty Sunday morning. A little later the second reported appearance was again to Magdalene alone at the tomb site. Seven additional Sunday appearances have now been reported:
12 NOON, appearance to Jesus’ brother James at Bethany in the garden of Lazarus, in front of the empty tomb of the resurrected brother of Martha and Mary. James saw the form of Jesus gradually take shape, and while he had difficulty recognizing the form of Jesus, the voice and the charming personality convinced him immediately that this was indeed Jesus, his brother-father. James rapturously reported: “He is not dead! He has risen! I talked with him!” James told his family, Mary Magdalene (who had come to Bethany to tell of her experience of seeing Jesus), and David Zebedee that Jesus had talked to him for several minutes. Jesus told James he wanted him to begin to work for the kingdom. Then Jesus said: “Farewell, until I greet you all together!” David Zebedee commented: “Jesus is seen not only by excited women; now men have begun to see him! I expect to see him myself!”
SHORTLY BEFORE TWO THIS AFTERNOON, appearance to his earthly family and friends, twenty in all (including David Zebedee), at the home of Martha and Mary in Bethany. Jesus appeared at the open back door and greeted them, saying: “Peace be upon you. Greetings to those once near me in the flesh and fellowship for my brothers and sisters in the kingdom of heaven. How could you doubt? Why have you lingered so long before choosing to follow the light of truth with a whole heart? Come, therefore, all of you into the fellowship of the Spirit of Truth in the Father’s kingdom.” Some moved toward him as if to embrace him as they began to recover from their shock. Jesus then vanished from sight. They all wanted to rush out and tell the doubting apostles about the visit, but James cautioned them not to broadcast this visit of Jesus. He said this because of certain things Jesus told him in the garden that day. James never revealed what they were.
FIFTEEN MINUTES PAST FOUR, appearance to twenty-five women believers at the home of Joseph of Arimathea. Mary Magdalene had returned from Bethany just a few minutes before this fifth appearance of Jesus. James had given her permission to tell the Women’s Corps the events of that day and she had just begun when the fully visible form of Jesus appeared in their midst. He greeted them and told them of the equality of all, men and women, rich and poor, in the fellowship of the kingdom. He urged them to go to all the world proclaiming the gospel, ministering to the sick, and strengthening the fear-ridden. He ended his discourse with the statement: “And I will be with you always, even to the ends of the earth.” Jesus vanished from sight, and the women worshiped in silence. It was noted that Mary Magdalene had witnessed four of these first five appearances of Jesus.
HALF PAST FOUR, appearance to some forty Greek believers at the home of Flavius, behind bolted doors. The group was engaged in discussions about the Master’s reported resurrection when Jesus materialized in their midst. Jesus told them that he had appeared on earth among the Jews, but now he charged them to go forth and proclaim the gospel to all nations and races. “I will fellowship you in the brotherhood of the Father’s sons of faith and truth.” The group were too overcome with awe and fear to venture out of Flavius’ house that night. They could not sleep. They stayed up discussing the kingdom, hoping all the while that the Master might appear again to them.
JUST BEFORE FIVE THIS EVENING, appearance to the brothers Cleopas and Jacob about three miles outside of Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus. The two brothers were walking on the road debating the plausibility of Jesus’ resurrection when a man joined them. He asked why they were excited, and Cleopas, a believer, declared: “Haven’t you heard? You must be the only one in Jerusalem who does not know about Jesus!” Cleopas told the stranger the story of the recent events, the crucifixion, and the rumors about Jesus’ resurrection. Jacob cut in and pointed out that the two apostles had found only an empty tomb; they did not see Jesus.
As the three continued to walk, the stranger began to speak to them at length and in power about Jesus’ teachings. When they reached their home, they enjoined him to come in and eat with them. As the man blessed the bread and broke it, their eyes were opened and Cleopas exclaimed: “It is the Master—” and Jesus vanished from sight. The brothers said to one another: “No wonder our hearts burned when he spoke to us!” Cleopas and Jacob did not stop to eat; they ran all the way to Jerusalem to spread the news. They found the apostles of Jesus about nine o’clock, and told the ten of them about what had happened. (Thomas had not yet returned to his associates; he was grieving apart from them.)
HALF PAST EIGHT, appearance to Peter in the garden of the Mark home. Peter spent the day in typical vacillation, shifting from believing the Master had risen—to doubting and back again. Alone in the garden he shouted at last, fists clenched: “I believe he has risen from the dead! I will tell my brethren!” Then he heard a familiar voice. Jesus spoke to him saying: “Peter, I forgave you even before you asked; but now must you cease to think about yourself and the troubles of the hour while you prepare to carry the good news of the gospel to those who sit in darkness. No longer should you be concerned with what you may obtain from the kingdom but rather be exercised about what you can give to those who live in dire spiritual poverty.” Jesus talked with Peter for nearly five minutes before he vanished. When Peter rushed in and told his fellow apostles they scoffed at him. Peter was crushed, and the twins sought to cheer him up, saying they believed him and that their mother had also seen the risen Jesus.
SHORTLY AFTER NINE, appearance to ten of the apostles in the upper chamber of the Mark home. The doors were bolted because the apostles still feared arrest. Jesus appeared suddenly in their midst. “Peace be upon you. Why are you so frightened when I appear, as though you had seen a spirit? Did I not tell you about these things when I was present with you in the flesh?” Jesus then admonished their lack of faith and told them that once all of them were together, and when they believed with certainty that the Son of Man has risen from the grave, to go into Galilee. “Have faith in God; have faith in one another,” he said. “You shall enter into the new service of the kingdom. I will stay with you in Jerusalem until you are ready to go into Galilee. My peace I leave with you.”
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)