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Strengthening belief

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"Christ is risen!" and... "He is risen, indeed!" Not only were these words spoken on Resurrection Sunday morning in the early Christian church, but every day for forty days!

Why forty days? The example set before us is of the grieving disciples of Jesus, soon to realize the Son of God, resurrected and present amongst them, was alive and proclaiming, "Peace to you." He came, not as a spirit, but with flesh and bones, eating and drinking, in their midst.

"And He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.'" (Luke 24:38, 39)

The importance of those last forty days with His disciples was to strengthen their belief that Jesus Christ truly was their Lord and God and was alive. "Do not be unbelieving, but believing." (John 20:27)

"And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:30, 31)

Jesus needed to open His disciples' understanding. What God was doing then, so also today, we need our own Spiritual eyes opened, that we can see God's truths and know Him.

"Then He said to them, 'These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.'" (Luke 24:44)

"And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45)

Jesus filled those forty days with miracles, showing the power He expected His disciples to receive in order to be His witnesses "to the end of the earth."

"Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

These were forty days of intense teaching, opening understandings, strengthening beliefs, and finally, preparing His followers to be endued, that is, covered with the Holy Spirit, and be commissioned with power.

"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." (John 21:25)

Can we also believe never doubting He is alive, that His words and His power are true for us today?


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© Constance Vanides