“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” ~ Acts 1:1-3
What are the “many convincing proofs” this verse is talking about?
First, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in John 20:10-18. Of course, people could write this off as being a side effect of depression or possibly shock, since Mary didn’t actually touch him.
When he appeared to the disciples (minus Thomas) as in John 20:19-23, he showed them his hands and side, then breathed on them. This could also be dismissed as a vision or side-effect and the breath could have just been a gust of wind ~ had only one of the disciples been involved. Ten men having the same vision at the same time is highly improbable.
But then Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time with Thomas in tow. In John 20:26-31, Jesus told Thomas to touch him and believe. The Bible doesn’t actually say if Thomas did touch him, but it was enough for him to believe anyway. Ghosts and visions, obviously, can’t be touched.
And then in the next chapter of John, Jesus performed a fishing miracle and ate with the disciples. Ghosts don’t eat ~ where would the food go? These aren’t the only things that happened either. Paul’s life is full of “convincing proofs” that Jesus is alive.
Why did Jesus stay on the earth forty days after He came back from the dead?
He had a lot of people to talk to about the kingdom of God, and besides, he appeared to over five hundred people. Five hundred people don’t just make things up that they saw someone rise from the dead.
I find it interesting how many times the number forty shows up in the Bible. It rained for forty days and forty nights when Noah had the Ark, and the number comes up many other times as well, though I can’t recall them.
Why didn’t He stay longer? Why didn’t He stay forever?
For one thing, He didn’t “stay” those forty days. It said He “appeared to them over a period of forty days,” implying that he appeared off and on. And why would He stay here? He doesn’t belong on earth with us. He is God. And God’s entire purpose for giving us free will in the first place was so we could choose to follow Him. Then we didn’t, we sinned a lot, so God sent Jesus to bear it for us. Hopefully you get where I’m going with that, because it’s difficult to explain.
What impact does the Resurrection have on the claims Jesus made about Himself?
Every single thing was true. Men can’t raise from the dead themselves, so he had to be God.
Why do people refuse to believe in the Resurrection even though there are “many convincing proofs”?
People are sensitive and stubborn, and they hate being wrong. Many have been taught differently, and accepting this would be like admitting they believed in a lie their whole life. This would also inflict considerable change on them, and they hate change. And it may just be extremely hard for some people to believe in something seemingly impossible. Or perhaps they simply don’t understand fully what this story is saying.