THE LIVING CHRIST

Scripture Reading:  Acts 1:1-3

“To them He presented Himself alive after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”  (Acts 1:3)

The Book of Acts was written by Luke as a sequel to his gospel account of the life of Jesus Christ.  The first book, the Gospel according to Luke, concentrated on “all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles whom He had chosen” (vs. 1-2).  In his second book, the Acts of the Apostles, Luke writes an historical account of the development of the early church after Jesus ascended into heaven.

Luke wanted to make clear that Jesus’ resurrection was real, that He was resurrected from the dead on the third day.  Thus he wrote:  “He presented Himself alive after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days.”  Jesus did not merely give His disciples certain ideas that they were to carry into the world; He appeared to them as one risen from the dead.  They knew He had died.  Some of them stood by the cross and saw Him suffer.  They saw the nails driven into His hands and feet.  They saw the spear thrust into Jesus’ side.  They were so convinced of Jesus’ death that they began to scatter in fear.

But then Jesus rose from the dead and began appearing to them.  His appearances were sufficient to draw them together again.  They came together because the Christ they had known and loved was alive!  Jesus appeared to them with many convincing proofs.  There was no question that Jesus had come back to life:  “He presented Himself alive after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days.”

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is an historical fact.  His resurrection proved His claims to be God.  He commissioned His disciples to be His witnesses, to take the good news of salvation to the ends of the earth.  Those early disciples obeyed and they turned the world upside down!  The Book of Acts tells the story of how they did it.

Lord Jesus, I know that You suffered and died for me.  I also know that you were raised form the dead and that You are alive today.  I bow before You and my desire is to be a faithful witness of Your death and resurrection to others. Let me follow in the steps of Your disciples as I seek to proclaim the gospel to as many people as possible, as long as You grant me life on this earth.

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