After Jesus walked out of the tomb, he appeared before many people throughout the area. He instructed his disciples to go back to Galilee and await Him there.
It was in there, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, that he first met them. It had been forty days since Jesus had come back to life and left His tomb.
The final meeting took place where at all began at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus charged them with going out beyond the immediate boundaries of Israel to spread the Gospel throughout the known world.
Then Jesus went back up to heaven, where He sits on the right hand of God. Jesus was still with His disciples and He is still with us.
Why it matters
There had to be an eye witness to the resurrection of Christ, and it was especially necessary for Jesus to show Himself before his disciples. With their own eyes, they saw the risen Savior.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28: 16-20
4 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Why it matters to you
People actually saw Jesus alive and well after the crucifixion. But it was hard to believe. After all, people coming back from being dead is a very rare occurrence. Today we hear stories about people who make miraculous recoveries in hospitals, but not after taking a brutal beating and dying on a cross.
It matters because it is God’s way of showing the whole world that He will do what He says. God wants man to trust Him and to follow Jesus.
When Jesus finished his talk with the disciples, He was taken up into heaven, according to the Gospels. Jesus had told his disciples that he would return to the Father, to sit at the right hand of the throne of God.
His rightful place is with His father, where He has always been before and after taking human form. All told, Jesus appeared to people over a 40 days period before going back home.
What you may not know
Jesus had a glorified body after the resurrection. He could appear here and there, and effortlessly go from place to place and not have any of the worries of human life.
Shortly after the resurrection, he appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus, which was near Jerusalem, and taught them about the events that people had seen and had been talking about.
The two men, once they realized who was talking to them, immediately went back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples. The disciples did not believe Mary Magdalene when she came back from the tomb, as they found the account unbelievable.
Only 11 disciples went to Galilee. Judas Iscariot committed suicide shortly after betraying Christ to the Jewish authorities. He never got to enjoy his 30 pieces of silver. Matthias was later chosen to join the group.