We receive resurrection life through faith in Jesus. We participate in resurrection living as we are transformed into His image.
The disciples had various reactions to Jesus’ resurrection. Some of their first responses included disappointment, doubt, and fear—if they stayed in their first reactions, they would have missed joy, amazement, and following Jesus in resurrection living.
Our first responses to God’s presence don’t have to define us. The questions to consider: Am I open to the transformation process? Am I open to God? Am I open to changing my responses to God?
Four post-resurrection experiences:
- Road to Emmaus:
a. Initial response: disappointment and discouragement.
(ref. Luke 24:21-24)
b. Changed response: resilience and renewed faith.
Luke 24:30-35 NIV
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
a. Initial response: startled and fear.
(ref. Luke 24:37-38 NIV)
b. Changed response: joy & amazement.
Luke 24:38-43 NIV
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
a. Initial response: doubt. (ref. John 20:24-25 NIV)
b. Changed response: worshipful declaration.
John 20:26-28 NIV
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
a. Initial response: comparison. (John 20:15-19 NIV)
b. Changed response: dedication.
John 20:22-23 NIV
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
Am I open to the transformation process? Am I open to God leading me in resurrection living?