Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
How many times does it take to learn something new? Now I’m not talking about doing something well enough to become a professional and make a living at it. No, I’m talking about learning something well enough so it becomes part of your daily life. Your daily routine.
For example, in the fall of 2020, I bought a Tesla electric car and there was plenty to learn.
There’s only one forward gear, so you don’t feel any gears shift.
The acceleration is breathtaking.
You rarely use the brake because when you let off the accelerator (notice that I didn’t say gas pedal,) the car immediately slows down to recharge the battery.
There’s no key to unlock the car or start the engine. You use an electronic card or an app on your phone.
The car is completely silent.
I get to “refuel” the car at home by plugging it in.
At first, I really had to think about what I was doing. The two hardest things to learn were the accelerator and the keyless nature of the car. In a traditional car, I used to let off the gas and drift a long way. But now, I have to use the accelerator until I’m almost on top of where I need to turn or stop. While I’m now used to getting into the car and driving off without a key, I sometimes still reach for a key to turn it off before getting out.
There’s no way to instantly learn new things. We are not like Neo in The Matrix. No matter how much we might want, there is no way to download software into us. To install a new memory. A new skill. There is no way to wake up and say, “I know Kung Fu” and then go out and do it.
Repetition is the key. That’s how we build new habits. Learn new things. It’s like the instructions on a bar of soap or bottle of shampoo. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
Jesus does the same thing after his resurrection. He doesn’t rise from the dead and only show up once. No, he shows up again and again. And why? Because he understands that we are not like an app.
With an app, you download new software and install it. After installation, it looks and operates differently. New things appear on the screen. New icons. New buttons. New features.
Jesus didn’t appear as an angel. As some spiritual being. As a ghost. He came back as a man but with a different abilities. He could go through a wall. He could hide his identity. And yet he spoke and even ate fish just like a normal man.
He was very patient with his followers. This was a lot to wrap their minds around. After all, no one had ever risen from the dead by themselves. Yes, there were a handful other resurrections in the past but they all involved someone else praying for them.
Jesus, and Jesus alone predicted his resurrection, and it came true. No other religious leader in the history of the world did this. And this changes everything.
The resurrection of Jesus is not a big deal, it’s the biggest deal. The reason that the resurrection of Jesus is such a big deal is that it points to the answer of a question that everybody ought to ask. And the question is, “Who is Jesus?”
When Jesus rose from the dead, it convinced his closest followers who had all runaway by that time. It also convinced people who never followed Jesus, that Jesus was who he claimed to be.
The resurrection has been convincing people ever since.
The story of Jesus wasn’t even worth telling apart from the resurrection. Apart from the resurrection no one would have documented the life of Jesus. Apart from the resurrection he was just another wannabe rabbi that kind of went off the rails. He was another promise maker that couldn’t keep his promises.
The reason we even know his name, the reason his name is proclaimed throughout the world today is not because of what he said, and not because of what he taught, but because he rose from the dead. And the resurrection punctuated everything Jesus taught and claimed about himself.
So, what are you going to do with this resurrected Jesus? The only thing we should do is worship him. Totally give him ourselves. And to be willing to do anything he says.