October 30 I Tuesday
2 Timothy 4
“After His suffering, He presented Himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive.” —Acts 1:3
Although Jesus forewarned His disciples that He would suffer, die and be raised from the dead on the third day, His crucifixion devastated them. We know the disciples did not believe His warnings because when a group of women told them the news that Jesus was alive, Luke says the women’s words “seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:11).
That evening, Jesus appeared personally to 10 of the disciples. They were terrified and thought He was a ghost, but Jesus said, “Why are you troubled and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I Myself! Touch Me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:38-39). They were convinced after Jesus ate with them, but when the 10 disciples told Thomas, who was missing, he said he would not believe until he touched the holes from the nails and in Jesus’s side. Yet Thomas did not hold to his disbelief when Jesus appeared to all the disciples one week later; he simply exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
Jesus gave many convincing proofs that He was alive over 40 days, but we might ask how many convincing proofs a person needs. Would it not be enough, like Thomas, to have seen Jesus once and believed? Perhaps, but with each proof, it emphasized that Jesus was alive. His resurrection is not just a past event that assures us of His victory over sin and our eternal security in Him. What we need to know more than that Jesus was raised is that Jesus is alive!
Jesus did not just leave us His teachings and tell us to live by them; He gave us Himself, alive in us! His life in the men and women of the early church, people with little education, money, influence or publicity machinery, is what enabled them to turn the world upside down. They had to face these kinds of practical concerns of course, but their primary concern was that Jesus was alive, living in them and had business to do through them.
When Jesus calls us to a task, we can rest in His strength because He is alive. When we face crisis or illness, we can trust that Christ is in control because He is alive. Whenever tragedy comes our way, our confident hope is that Jesus is alive. It is because of the resurrection that we can be restored to relationship with God, but the only explanation for the Christian life is that Jesus is alive and at work in us and through us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for raising Your Son from the dead so I can have a relationship with You and that He remains alive, working in me and through me.