After Jesus’ resurrection, He spent 40 days on earth before ascending to heaven. The Bible provides a glimpse into what Jesus did during these 40 days.
Appearances of Jesus
Jesus appeared to His disciples and others several times during these 40 days. In John 20:19-23, He appeared to the disciples who were hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews.
He showed them His hands and side, proving that He had indeed risen from the dead. In Luke 24:13-35, Jesus walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, explaining to them how all the Scriptures point to Him. He also appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18) and to Thomas (John 20:24-29), who doubted that Jesus had risen.
Teaching and Preaching
During His appearances, Jesus also taught and preached about the kingdom of God. In Acts 1:3, it says that “He presented Himself alive..by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” He likely explained how His death and resurrection had fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
Commissioning His Disciples
Jesus also gave specific instructions to His disciples during this time. In Matthew 28:18-20, known as the Great Commission, Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. He promised to be with them always, even until the end of age.
After spending these 40 days with His disciples, Jesus ascended into heaven in their presence. Acts 1:9-11 says that as they were watching, “He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Two angels then appeared and told the disciples that Jesus would return in the same way He had left.
In summary, after His resurrection Jesus spent 40 days on earth appearing to His disciples and others, teaching about the kingdom of God, commissioning His disciples to make disciples of all nations, and then ascending into heaven. These 40 days were a crucial time for solidifying the faith of those who had followed Him and preparing them for the work He had called them to do.