Jesus’ Ministry for 40 Days After Resurrection & the Work of the Holy Spirit

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At dawn on Sunday, three days after Jesus died, the women who believed in Jesus went to the tomb to perfume the body. The stone that was blocking the tomb had been rolled away, and an angel dressed in a white robe appeared before the women and said,

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him”. Mk 16:6

The women hurried to deliver this news to the disciples. When hearing this, they didn’t believe it because their words seemed like nonsense, but Peter ran to the tomb and looked into it; there were only the strips of linen that had wrapped around the body (Lk 24:8–12).

At the end of the four Gospels and the beginning of the Acts, the events that took place after Jesus’ resurrection are recorded. The disciples were discouraged by the fact that Jesus died after suffering, but after they met Jesus who was resurrected according to the prophecy, they gained confidence in their faith. While boldly proclaiming that Jesus is the Savior, an explosive work of the Holy Spirit occurred in the church after Jesus’ ascension.

Jesus Appeared Before His Disciples After Resurrection

When Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, and to the two disciples who were going from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus (Lk 24:13–15). The two disciples were walking and talking with Jesus, but they were kept from recognizing Him. When they mourned His death, Jesus testified through the Bible that Christ had to suffer those things and then enter His glory.

When Jesus arrived at Emmaus, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them. Then, the disciples’ eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus, who appeared before them and opened the Scriptures. Astonished, the two disciples returned at once to Jerusalem.

That evening, the disciples were together in Jerusalem, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. The two disciples from Emmaus told how they met Jesus on the way, and how they recognized Jesus when He broke the bread. Then suddenly Jesus appeared there. They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost of Jesus. Jesus showed them His hands and feet and ate food so that His disciples could believe in His resurrection.

Thomas, who was not there, later heard from the disciples that they had seen Jesus, but he did not believe in Jesus’ resurrection. He said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” Eight days later, when all the eleven disciples, including Thomas, were in the house, Jesus appeared again. He said to Thomas, “See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” As Thomas said, “My Lord and my God,” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Afterward, seven disciples, including Peter, returned to Galilee and went out to fish. Although they lowered their nets all night, they caught nothing. At the time, Jesus appeared and told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat. When they did as He said, they caught a large number of fish. The disciples, who didn’t recognize Jesus at first, found out that it was Jesus who directed this. As Peter returned from fishing, Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” Every time Peter replied that he loved Him, Jesus said, “Feed my lambs,” “Take care of my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep.”

Jesus Gave the Mission to Preach the Gospel

Jesus told His eleven disciples who came to Galilee to see Him, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Thus, Jesus gave them the mission to preach the gospel (Mt 28:18–20).

After His resurrection, Jesus gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to His disciples over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. He commanded the disciples not to leave Jerusalem but wait for the Holy Spirit that the Father had promised. He said that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. After saying this, He was taken up before their very eyes (Ac 1:3–9).

Jesus’ resurrection had a great influence on the faith of His disciples. While Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom before He suffered, the disciples definitely heard the teachings about the resurrection of the dead (Mt 22:30; Jn 5:29). However, they did not have a firm faith and understanding about resurrection, so they fled, locked the door, and hid, fearing that they would be killed by the Jews after Jesus died. However, as they witnessed Jesus’ resurrection, they were convinced of the spiritual world and the resurrection of life. They boldly preached the gospel despite the persecution of the Jews and Gentiles, and did not hesitate to take the path of martyrdom. As the witnesses of Christ’s resurrection, they strongly testified to Jesus’ resurrection in front of many people, and also left letters that testify about the resurrection of life that the saints would receive in the future.

On the Day of Pentecost, the 50th Day After Resurrection, the Holy Spirit Was Poured Out

After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples gathered in Jerusalem to pray according to what Jesus had commanded. It was on the Day of Pentecost, the 50th day after Jesus’ resurrection, when the disciples were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting, and what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated came to rest on each of them.

When the Holy Spirit came upon them, the disciples began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. By the power of the Holy Spirit, they were able to speak foreign languages they did not know. The Jews, who were from every nation gathered in Jerusalem to keep the Day of Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks), heard this and flocked. When they heard Jesus’ disciples speaking in their own languages, utterly amazed, they said, “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Some, however, made fun of them, saying, “They have had too much wine.” Then Peter, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up and said that the disciples spoke in tongues not because they were drunk, but because they received the Holy Spirit as prophesied in the Bible. He also boldly testified through the Bible that Jesus, who the Jews had killed, was the Savior. When Peter urged them to receive the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit through baptism, three thousand people repented and were baptized that day.

The Revival of the Early Church Through the Work of the Holy Spirit

Those who accepted God’s word listened to the apostles’ teachings and devoted themselves to the fellowship and prayer. Every day, they met together in the temple courts and praised God. The apostles continued to boldly preach the word of God, and the number of those who were saved increased day by day.

One day, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon, and a crippled man at the temple gate called “Beautiful” asked them for money. Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk,” and he helped him up. The man crippled from birth stood, walked, jumped, and praised God. All the people were astonished and came running to them. Peter boldly preached Jesus, saying that this work was not done by their own power or godliness, but by faith in the name of Jesus. Many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

At that time, the religious leaders were displeased with the apostles’ preaching. They seized Peter and John and put them in jail. The next day, the Jewish rulers and the religious leaders all gathered in the Sanhedrin to question Peter and John. They did not fear at all, but boldly testified, “Jesus you crucified is our Savior, and there is no other Savior except the name of Jesus.” Then the religious leaders warned them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus, but the apostles refuted, saying, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

After being released from the Sanhedrin, Peter and John prayed earnestly together with the other disciples that they would speak the word of God with great boldness. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Ac 4:23–31).

Jesus, the Christ who came to this earth according to the prophecy of the Bible! He established the New Covenant on the Passover to save all people from their sins. Then He was arrested that night, and died on the cross on the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In the eyes of those who did not believe in Jesus, it seemed that He was suffering because He had no power, but in reality, the Almighty God became the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world and sacrificed Himself silently (1 Co 5:7). For those who believed in Him, He allowed them to witness the miracle of His resurrection from the dead on the third day.

Not only for the disciples but for everybody in those days, it was hard to believe that Jesus, who had suffered so severely and died on the cross, was raised from the dead. However, since it was prophesied in the Bible, everything went according to the will of God, not the common sense of man. Jesus’ resurrection was a message of hope and joy to all the saints. After Jesus’ resurrection, the saints accomplished the amazing work of the gospel with stronger faith and the living hope of resurrection, and with the Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Day of Pentecost.

The hope for eternal life and resurrection, which God Himself set an example by coming in the flesh, is still valid in this age. It is because the Bible prophesies that Jesus will come a second time and restore the New Covenant, the truth of life and salvation (Heb 9:28; Isa 25:6–9).

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