The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of Christianity’s most significant and celebrated events. The Bible tells us that after Jesus’ death and resurrection, He remained on earth for a certain period before ascending to heaven. Christians believe that the resurrection of Jesus is proof of His divinity and provides the hope of eternal life.
It is important to learn and understand the details of Jesus’ time on earth after His resurrection, including what He did, whom He appeared to, and the significance of the 40 days, as these are valuable elements of the Christian faith. It reaffirms the faith of those who believe in Him that Jesus indeed conquered death.
How Long Did Jesus Stay On Earth After His Resurrection?
Before Jesus’ ascension, He appeared to His disciples and to others, but how long was Jesus on earth after His resurrection? Jesus stayed for a period of 40 days. Luke wrote in Acts 1:3, “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” During this time, Jesus taught them about the kingdom of God and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.
What Did Jesus Do For 40 Days After His Resurrection?
- Appear To His Disciples
Jesus appeared to His disciples numerous times and to over 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6) after His resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is evidenced by His appearance before these people, who will testify with Him in preparation for their great commission.
- Teach About The Kingdom Of God
During His 40 days on Earth, Jesus taught His disciples about things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).
- Prepare His Disciples For Their Future Mission
Jesus prepared His disciples for their future mission of spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
- Commission His Disciples
Jesus told His disciples about the Great Commission before ascending into heaven. Matthew 28:18–20 says, “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 Ghost, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
- Continue To Perform Miracles
Jesus continued to perform miracles during His 40 days on Earth. For example, He appeared to His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where He performed the miraculous catch of fish (John 21:1–14).
- Reassure His Disciples
Jesus reassured His disciples that He had indeed risen from the dead and that they too would have eternal life through their faith in Him. John 20:31 says, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
- Ascend Into Heaven
His disciples witnessed when Jesus ascended to heaven. Luke 24:51 says, “While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.” Jesus ascending to heaven is proof that He is divine and comes from God.
Did Jesus Appear To Anyone After His Resurrection?
After His resurrection, Jesus made multiple appearances to His chosen people, as described in the Bible. The first person He appeared to was Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9). He also appeared to two disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35). Later that same day, Jesus appeared to the disciples who were gathered together (Luke 24:36–49).
Another notable appearance was when Jesus appeared to His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where He performed a miraculous catch of fish (John 21:1–14). In another instance, Jesus appeared to over 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6) and to His brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7). Finally, Jesus appeared to His disciples on the Mount of Olives, where He gave them the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20).
The multiple appearances of Jesus after His resurrection provided evidence of His victory over death and affirmed His divinity. These appearances also strengthened the faith of those who witnessed them and provided hope for future believers.
What Is The Significance Of The 40 Days?
The period of 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection holds great importance in the Christian faith. This number, as mentioned in the Bible, is often linked with preparation, testing, purification, and repentance.
It also signifies a crucial time frame for accomplishing a significant spiritual challenge that leads to spiritual growth and development. This 40-day period emphasizes the significance of reinforcing our faith by depending on God during difficult situations.
Prominent 40-day incidents in the Bible included God flooding the earth for 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:4), Moses spending 40 days on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28), and Jesus starting His public ministry after His 40 days of fasting and testing in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11).
During these 40 days, Jesus began to prepare His disciples for their mission to spread the gospel and taught them about the kingdom of God. It was also a period of testing and training for the disciples, as they had to learn to journey through life without Jesus’ physical presence.
Furthermore, Jesus’ appearances during this time solidified His victory over death and proved that He had risen from the dead. By appearing to His disciples and over 500 people, Jesus provided many infallible proofs of His resurrection, strengthening the faith of His followers and providing hope for future believers.
The 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection demonstrate God’s plan for redemption and salvation. The risen Christ provides a profound affirmation of the belief that He is indeed the Son of God and the Savior that the Heavenly Father has sent on earth to save mankind from sin.
The 40 days in which the Lord stayed on earth after His resurrection are significant to Christianity as they represent preparation, testing, and Jesus’ victory over death.
In these 40 days, Jesus prepared His disciples for their future mission of spreading the gospel and proved His victory over death by appearing to over 500 people. His resurrection did not only strengthen the faith of His followers, but it also provided evidence and fulfillment of what was written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.
As Christians, we can take comfort in knowing that the Lord conquered death, and we too can have eternal life by believing in Him.