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Overview of Eternal Rewards - Part 2 (4 of 12)

Mike Connell

Luke 24:31 - “Their eyes were opened, and they suddenly recognised Him”.

Now they've been sitting there having a meal with the guy, they didn't even know it was Jesus. They were just sitting having a meal, with a regular guy, who's been walking with them on a journey, then He breaks the bread, and gives it to them, and suddenly... it's Jesus! Then, the moment they knew who it was... He's gone! That is such a freaky thing that happened, He just - it says: “He vanished from their sight”. That means literally, to become invisible, or suddenly just disappear from sight.

Luke described the appearance; and then John described Jesus' sudden appearance. He describes the disappearance: He's there, and suddenly, He's gone; then John describes the appearance. Here's John's description, and possibly He walked through the wall, because in one of them it says: “the door was shut” - so we're in a locked room!

“The same day at evening, being the first day of the week, the doors were shut”. See, everyone's got the doors shut. Maybe they're locked? They were assembled, for fear of the Jews - so probably they're locked... and Jesus suddenly, He came and stood in the midst, and said: “Peace be to you”. So they're in a locked room, and suddenly... He's there! I don't know whether He just walked through the door. He's just suddenly... there!

There’s another one, in John 20:26 - He did it more than once! It says... “After eight days, the disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them, and Jesus came, the doors being shut, and suddenly stood in the midst, and said: “Peace be to you”.

Notice they described: “the doors were shut”. In other words, there's no way to get in. Suddenly… He's there - appeared; and disappeared! Man, oh man! Then Mark describes it...

Mark 16:14 - “Later, He appeared to the 11, as they sat at the table, and then rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't believe those who'd seen Him, after He'd risen.”

They're all sitting at the table having a meal, probably talking about: where do we go from here... and then ‘poof’ - He appears! Guys, I told you about this... What's wrong? You didn't believe me? Now the shock of seeing someone physically, after you watched them die... You ran away, because it was scary, and then suddenly... it's so hard to comprehend - it's just mind blowing!

Paul makes a list of the appearances that he knew of, and it's found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 - “I delivered to you first of all which I received - and this is the gospel. Christ died for our sins according to scriptures. He was buried, He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.

Now look at this list... “He was seen by Peter, then seen by 12, then seen by over 500 at once, and mostly they're still alive, some of them have died. After that, seen by James, then by all the apostles. Last He was seen by me, like one out of due time.”

He had his own encounter and saw Jesus, so he identifies the different occasions. Jesus - this is what He did: He appeared, then He disappeared! So you see that regularly, after Jesus rose from the dead, He made appearances - just sudden appearances; and he himself had a face-to-face encounter, in Acts 9.

Luke also shared some things about these ongoing daily appearances. As you read this, you think: oh my goodness! What kind of atmosphere must have been around the disciples, when this was happening?

Acts 1:1-3 - “The former account I made, Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to both do and teach, until the day he was taken up, after he through the Holy Spirit gave commandments to the apostles He had chosen, to whom He presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many infallible proofs, being seen of them during 40 days”.

So He kept appearing, for 40 days; and what was He doing? He was speaking things, pertaining to the kingdom of God. Can you imagine: Jesus died; and then suddenly, He turns up; and now you don't even know when He's going to turn up. He's going to turn up, and share with you about the kingdom of God; and you don't know when that's going to be! Wouldn't you be hungry? Wouldn't you be excited, waiting for that to happen? Wouldn't everything else take on a whole new kind of, oh wow! When is it going to happen, today? I suppose they gathered to worship; and when they're gathering, worshipping, suddenly… He appears! Whoa, worship's over, He's here! He's here; and then He would teach them - teach them about the kingdom… If only they'd written down what He taught them! That would be good - or they'd taken a video of it or something.