The angel in this passage summoned the disciples to a prearranged meeting place with Christ in Galilee, upon a mountain (Matthew 26:32).
The appearance there can be identified with the one mentioned by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:6) in which Christ was seen by more than five hundred brethren at one time.
THE TEN EPIPHANIES (APPEARANCES)
- To Mary Magdalene (John and Mark)
- To the other Women (Matthew)
- To the Disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke)
- To Peter (Luke 23:24; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
- To the Ten Apostles, when Thomas was absent (John 20:20)
- To the Apostles, when Thomas was present (John 20:26)
- To the seven by the lake (John 21:1-25)
- To more than five hundred people (1 Corinthians 15:6)
- To James and all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7)
- To all the disciples with the Great Commission in different Words (Luke 24:44,49; Acts 1:3-8)
The first five of those appearances occurred on the day of his resurrection, and the other five later, during the interval before his ascension.
Of overriding importance is the appearance to “above five hundred brethren at one time,” mentioned by Paul who stated that many who had seen the Christ on that occasion were still living when he wrote 1 Corinthians 15 below…
This dogmatic declaration of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was written while the majority of that generation in which it occurred were still alive (1 Corinthians 15:6); and the presence of many enemies who denied it but who were powerless to produce any evidence against it, makes this an argument of eternal power and dependability.
In fact all of the evidence in this chapter shows that even the enemies who were denying the resurrection (as a general thing) were compelled to admit the resurrection of Christ, because Paul adduced the latter as proof of the former!
This passage is the apostolic witness of the resurrection, and observes that:
- It is a complete summary.
- It includes material which is not in the Gospels.
- It appeals to ancient prophecies.
- It shows the force of the evidence which convinced the apostles.
- It appeals to many eyewitnesses still living.
- It was written within 25 years of the events themselves.
This is one of three New Testament references to the burial of Christ, except in the Gospels, the other two being Acts 2:29 and Acts 13:29.
The significance of “the Christ” should not be overlooked.
Jesus was not A Christ, or A Messiah.
Jesus of Nazareth is THE Messiah, THE Christ of God!
To maintain this was the main drift of all apostolic preaching and teaching. So important is it, then, that it should stand before all men in the proper attitude.
In reading the five historical books of the Christian religion, every intelligent reader must have observed that the issue concerning Jesus of Nazareth is: “Is he, or is he not, the Christ of whom Moses in the law, and all the prophets wrote?”
The New Testament accounts of the Resurrection all agree:
(1) That the tomb was empty.
(2) That the resurrection occurred the third day. Regarding the empty tomb…
Paul’s tradition implies it. So does the apostolic preaching in Acts.
The four evangelists declare it. The silence of the Jews confirms it.
In trying to fathom the mystery of the first Easter Day, we should think of something essentially other-worldly, a piece of heavenly reality, invading this world of time and sense and manifesting itself.
We are concerned with an unmistakably divine event which yet occurred in this world of ours, on an April day in A.D. 30 while Pontius Pilate was Roman governor of Judea.
It blasts the swoon theory; he really died; and it leads naturally to the empty tomb, a witness for the resurrection which has never been effectively denied.
This Scripture affirms that Jesus would rise on the third day is Jonah 1:17 (Matthew 12:40).