The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 12 - Jesus lives again and returns to God - Part 3
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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.
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Luke records that Jesus appeared to the *disciples during a period of 40 days. Jesus spoke to them about the *kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul tells us about some other appearances. One, in Galilee, was to 500 witnesses at once. He does not mention appearances to women. In Jewish courts, women were not witnesses. It is interesting that Jesus appeared first to the women. Paul wrote his list about 25 years later. At that time, many of the witnesses would still be alive. People could have asked them questions, to check Paulís list.
The guards had run away from the grave. These guards were Roman soldiers. The Roman army rewarded courage, but hated cowards. These soldiers had left the place that they were guarding. Usually their officers would have killed them for this. Instead, men paid them to say that Jesusí *disciples had stolen the body. Of course, this is not true. It is also not at all likely. When Jesus appeared to the *disciples later, they were very surprised. It was hard for them to believe that this was Jesus. Afterwards, they spoke out boldly. The fact that Jesus had come alive again was a very important part of their message. Because of this, men attacked them, and even killed many of them. But they continued to speak about Jesus, although some had a very painful death. (Read about Stephen, Acts 7).
The behaviour of the first Christians showed their character to everybody (Acts 2:47). People respected James in particular. He was a half brother of Jesus. He lived only to please God. The Jewish writer Josephus mentioned him. The Christians became people with a purpose. In the next 25 years, they spread the good news about Jesus through all the Roman *empire. Jesus had risen from the grave!
Several facts are clear:
∑ There was no body. If the enemies of Jesus could have shown a body, that would have ended the new belief at once.
∑ The courage of the Christian witnesses, and their behaviour, impressed people very much. The *disciples soon went everywhere and spoke about Jesus. They said that the *prophets had spoken about all these things. Probably the *disciples repeated what Jesus had taught them. And now, they themselves were witnesses of these events.
∑ The *prophets had written hundreds of years before this. Now, the events that they described, had happened.
In just a few days, the disciples had changed. They were no longer afraid. They did not continue to hide themselves away. They were bold men who changed the world.
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