What historians often forget is that Jesus interacted with hundreds of people over a forty day period following the resurrection. Although Jesus allowed Thomas to see and touch the scars from his crucifixion, these encounters went beyond the twelve disciples. Luke, a first century doctor records public speeches where Jesus also spoke to others about heaven.
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God, Acts 1:3.
While only a group of individuals witnessed Jesus’ ascension, evidence of Jesus’ resurrection was irrefutable. However, this didn’t stop government and religious officials from trying to control this news from getting out, using a series of lies and bribes to prevent others from believing. Despite this, countless apostles died for their faith throughout the first century. Unfortunately, this plot has been successful over time, causing many to deny these facts.
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, Matthew 28:11-12.
Perhaps the author of Hebrews saw this coming, suggesting many were living in disgrace, Hebrews 6:6. This trend has continued, slowly chipping away at modern spiritual foundations, cheapening God’s grace by leaning on Jesus like a crutch when times get tough. After these storms, several go back to their old ways as if nothing ever happened. What these individuals are lacking is a personal faith, an encounter to see, touch and believe. In view of those who have fallen away, don’t overlook the convincing evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.
by Jay Mankus