Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He Is Risen: He Is Alive:

Dr. Woodrow Kroll

Picture Credit: CartoonistWill/sxc.hu
Perhaps in the most astounding event ever to take place early in the morning occurred on the first resurrection day morning. God is in the habit of doing things early in the morning, but on this particular morning He did something very special. He raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and the mighty power of God was proven by the post-resurrection appearances of our Lord. 
In Mark 16, three such appearances of the risen Saviour are recorded.  Verse 14 indicates that Jesus “appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat”.  The disciples had assembled themselves, except Thomas, and were not given to believing the reports that Jesus was alive.  Suddenly He appeared in their midst, the doors of the room being shut, and they perceived Him to be a spirit.  But He called unto them to feel His body.  He showed them the wounds in His hands, His feet and His side.  As some doubted, He ate food before them all.  He rebuked them for their lack of faith, but He also commissioned them:  “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (v 15).  This was the last of His appearances on that great resurrection day.

Prior to this occasion, however, He appeared to two individuals walking on the road to Emmaus.  Although only briefly mentioned by Mark, the interesting narrative given by Luke tells us that Cleopas and another had left the city after visiting the sepulcher and were on their way to the village of Emmaus,  some seven miles from Jerusalem.  As they were engaged in conversation, Jesus Himself joined them.  They invited Him to accompany them to the home of Cleopas; they did not recognize Him as the risen Lord.  Suddenly, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them all the scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).  Still, when they reported to the others that they had met the risen Lord, the disciples found that difficult to believe.

But to whom was the first post resurrection appearance made?  Did Jesus first appear to Peter, the principal preacher of Christianity in the first century?  Did He appear to John, the beloved disciple, the disciple whom Jesus loved?  No, He appeared to one whose devotion to Him could not be excelled.  He appeared to one whose dedication to Him could not be surpassed.  He appeared first to one who was an unlikely candidate to such an honor000.  Mark 16:9 says, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”  Yes, Mary Magdalene would be the first one to see the risen Lord, even though she was not an apostle nor would she ever be used of God to write a single line of scripture.  Her only qualification for this high honor was her deep and abiding affection for her Lord.

The Gospel of Luke records that when Jesus was preaching in every city and village, the 12 disciples being with Him, a company of women followed them.  They did this out of sheer gratitude for what the Lord had done in their behalf.  One of them was Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast seven devils.  From the moment of her exorcism by the Lord Jesus, Mary followed her Master and the disciple band and ministered unto Him as did the other women, of their substance (Luke 8:1-3).  This unremitting devotion was the quality found by the Lord to be the most rewardable of all.

Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad, A.P, India
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