Forty days after Easter is Jesus’ Ascension Thursday. Then 10 days more it is Pentecost. What did Jesus do during these 40 days? Why is this important to us that He ascended? Jesus’ Ascension revealed to us that one day we too are to be resurrected. But more importantly, Jesus showed us and His disciples that He was the son of God, going home to His Father in heaven. Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days to start the church and to explain to the disciples how he fulfilled scriptures from the Old Testament. He also showed them many signs.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room, He showed them that He was truly Jesus and in the flesh. He showed them the holes in His hands and feet and side. Jesus was in a heavenly body but not in a glorified body because He did not a enter into heaven yet.
Things that Jesus did after the resurrection and before the ascension and other happenings:
- Earthquake shook the ground and the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb was rolled open by an angel and the guards were struck with fear.
- The women who were going to visit the tomb, saw that the stone was open and the angel told them Jesus was raised and He will see them in Galilee.
- While the women were on the way to Galilee, Jesus appeared to them. He told them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee too, and they also will see Him.
- The guards who saw the angel open Jesus’ tomb ran and told the chief priests their story. But they gave the soldiers money to lie and say the disciples stole Jesus’ body. They did lie and take their money, and this story is still circulated with the Jews today.
- Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, who then told the disciples that Jesus spoke with her. They did not believe her.
- Jesus walked to Emmaus with two disciples who did not recognize Him until Jesus ate and broke bread with them. It was then their eyes were opened and were able to recognize Jesus.
- While the two disciples were still telling their story to the other disciples, Jesus appeared to them and showed all His wounds, hands, feet, and side. Then Jesus ate fish with them. Jesus revealed the scriptures and explained many things to them.
- One week later with Thomas present with the other disciples, Jesus appeared to them again. He told Thomas to place his fingers in the holes of His hands and feet and side.
- In Galilee, when it was still dawn Jesus stood on the shore watching the disciples in their boat fishing, but they had caught nothing all night. Jesus asked them if they caught anything. They did not recognize Jesus, until they put their fishing net on the other side of the boat and caught many fish. They brought their fish to shore and ate fish with Jesus.
- In John’s Gospel it says, Jesus did many other things that these books will be not able to contain.
We are like the disciples because we have the same doubts, fears and misunderstandings. We fail and it takes Jesus to reassure us over and over like He did with the disciples. We have the written scripture, The Holy Bible to teach us and our church with 2000 years of traditions.