The Post-Resurrection Jesus
Text: Matthew 28 : 1 - 20
To those who did not have the privilege of seeing Jesus after He had risen from the dead, hundreds of questions clamour to be voiced out. All of them demanding answers! What was Jesus like after His resurrection? What does His resurrection mean anyway?
Jesus knew that the disciples would have a hard time comprehending the fact of the resurrection. Not only that, they would have to come to terms with their failure to be faithful as His disciples. They were still uncomfortable and scared even, in Jerusalem. This was the domain of their enemies. If they could plot the death of Jesus, could they not also plot the deaths of the disciples?
INSTRUCTIONS OF THE RISEN SAVIOUR
The Risen Saviour showed every evidence that He was still the quintessential Teacher that He always was in the instruction He gave to the women disciples.
“Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee,
and there they will see Me.”
1. “My brethren”
These two words may not sound like much, but to the grieving disciples they mean the world. On hindsight and in reflection, the disciples must have been angry with themselves for having been so cowardly. Could Jesus ever forgive them? Could He ever want to relate to them ever again? If He did not, they would understand! Jesus deserved better! Yet, there was no mistaking the grace, the compassion, and the love contained in those two words. Jesus, the resurrected Saviour, still cared for them. He still called them “My brethren”.
2. “Go to Galilee, and there they will see Me”
The disciples had many questions indeed. The women disciples could never answer the myriad questions the men disciples raised up to them. The women folk only had a testimony to share. If their words could not be easily believed, how could they hope to answer all the questions that the men would raise up to them?
“Go to Galilee…” That was all that the Master said. In those words they recognized once again His authority. He was always in control of every situation. He would never be pushed by anyone. Instead, He would always be the One who would set the pace. The disciples never fully understood Him, but they knew enough to trust that at the right time, at the right place, He would explain everything. Galilee was where they spent much time listening to Jesus as He taught the multitudes. Galilee held many fond memories. Did Jesus mention “Galilee”? Then they must make every effort to go there!
“They will see Me…” What a thrilling prospect that was. They would see Jesus again? They would see Him as the women disciples did? And when they saw Him they could ply Him with their questions? Yes, they must make every effort to go to Galilee.
GALILEE – A MEETING POINT FOR ALL THE DISCIPLES
There were many reasons why Jesus spoke about meeting them in Galilee. Let us look at some of these reasons.
1. Jerusalem was not the safest place to meet up with all the disciples
Jerusalem was still skittish after the crucifixion of Jesus. The news of the resurrection of Jesus would soon hit both the Romans and the Jews hard. Their enemies would not allow this news to go out unopposed. They could be expected to take up counter-measures.
Jerusalem was never the place where Jesus held special meetings with His disciples. Jesus ministered in Jerusalem. However, every evening, He would walk to Bethany and there find lodging for the night. The streets would be watched. The homes of those who were known to be disciples would be carefully watched by their enemies.
2. Galilee was obviously a safer venue
Though the Sanhedrin Council’s power reached other regions, their strength lay in Jerusalem predominantly. The disciples were mostly from Galilee, they would feel safer once they were on home ground. All told, the decision to meet up in Galilee sounded like the way Jesus would do things!
He always knew when the disciples needed a break. He knew when they were tired and exhausted. They could not forget the day when Jesus planned a short break for them.
“Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things,
both what they had done and what they had taught.
And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves
to a deserted place and rest a while.’
For there were many coming and going, and they did not even
have time to eat.”
The trip to Galilee to see Jesus would be good for all of them. They needed to sort themselves out. They had been gloomy and disheartened after the death of Jesus. They needed to spend time with the Lord Jesus once again!
3. Galilee – a Meeting Point for all
The disciples were in danger of being scattered. Two disciples were on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13ff). Others were scattered elsewhere. All were discouraged. They needed Jesus to be with them, to teach them further, to guide them with reference to the future etc.
Word to all the disciples must go out. All would make their way to Galilee. There they would see Jesus! A new sense of excitement was in the air. They would see Jesus again! What hope filled their hearts as they made their way to Galilee!