After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to various people to prove that He had indeed risen from the dead. Let’s take a closer look at who these people were.
1. Mary Magdalene
Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, one of His most devoted followers. In John 20:14-16, we read that when Mary went to the tomb and saw that Jesus’ body was missing, she was distraught and weeping.
But then Jesus appeared to her and called her by name, saying “Mary.” She recognized Him immediately and was overjoyed.
2. The Disciples
Jesus also appeared to His disciples multiple times after the resurrection. In John 20:19-23, we read that on the evening of the first day of the week, Jesus appeared to them while they were gathered together in a locked room for fear of the Jewish leaders.
He showed them His hands and side, proving that He was indeed alive. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw Him.
In Luke 24:36-43, we read another account of this event where Jesus ate a piece of broiled fish in front of them to further prove that He was not a ghost but had risen bodily from the dead.
One of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas, was not with the others when Jesus first appeared to them. When they told him what had happened, he famously said in John 20:25 “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
A week later, however, Jesus appeared to Thomas as well and invited him to touch His wounds as proof that He had indeed risen. Thomas believed and exclaimed in John 20:28 “My Lord and my God!”
4. Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus
In Luke 24:13-32, we read that two of Jesus’ disciples were walking to the village of Emmaus when Jesus appeared to them, although they did not recognize Him at first. He walked with them and explained how the Scriptures had foretold His death and resurrection. When they arrived at their destination, Jesus broke bread with them and then they recognized Him before He vanished from their sight.
5. The Eleven Disciples
In Matthew 28:16-20, we read that after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee. There He gave them what is now known as the Great Commission, commanding them to go and make disciples of all nations.
These are just a few examples of who Jesus showed Himself to after the resurrection. These appearances were crucial in proving that He had truly risen from the dead and fulfilled the prophecies of Scripture. They also served as encouragement for His followers who were grieving His death and wondering what would happen next.