After Jesus was crucified and buried, he rose again on the third day, as prophesied in the scriptures. The resurrection of Christ is a fundamental belief in Christianity, and it marks the victory over death and sin. But how many times did Jesus appear after his resurrection?
The Bible records several appearances of Jesus to his disciples, but the exact number is not clear. However, we can examine these accounts to get a better understanding of how many times Jesus appeared after his resurrection.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
On the morning of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where Jesus was buried. To her surprise, she found that the stone had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty. While she was weeping outside the tomb, Jesus appeared to her.
John 20:14-16 recounts this encounter:
“And when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir if you have carried him away tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her ‘Mary’ She turned and said to Him in Hebrew ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).”
This was the first appearance of Jesus after his resurrection.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
After appearing to Mary Magdalene, Jesus later appeared to his disciples. According to Luke 24:36-43:
“While they were talking about this (the appearance of Christ), He Himself stood among them and said to them ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
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 that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”
This appearance of Jesus is significant because it dispelled the doubts of the disciples who had thought that Jesus was a ghost.
Jesus Appears to Thomas
One of the disciples, Thomas, was not present when Jesus appeared to the rest of the disciples. When they told him about it later, Thomas refused to believe unless he saw Jesus with his own eyes.
John 20:26-28 recounts what happened next:
“A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
This appearance of Jesus shows us that even those who doubted could be convinced by seeing him.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples at the Sea of Galilee
In John 21:1-14, we read about how Jesus appeared to his disciples while they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee:
“Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’”
This appearance of Jesus shows us that he was not limited by time or space and could appear whenever he wanted.
Jesus Appears to More Than Five Hundred People
1 Corinthians 15:6 states that Jesus appeared to more than five hundred people at once:
“Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time.”
This appearance of Jesus is significant because it confirms that his resurrection was not just a spiritual event but a physical one.
In conclusion, the Bible records several appearances of Jesus after his resurrection. While the exact number is not clear, we can be sure that these appearances were significant in confirming the reality of Christ’s resurrection. As Christians, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus is alive and continues to reveal himself to us today through his Word and through our experiences with him.