SLIDE 4 – Why hasn’t this been studied?
– Difficulty to reconcile the facts
– See table below that maps a post-resurrection saying to an appearance
First Post-Resurrection Saying – Why are you crying, Who are you looking for?
Appeared to: Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb (Mary, mother of James, mentioned in some accounts), angels only except for John 20
– Matt 28:1-8 – angel, with fear and great joy, they went to tell the disciples what the angel had said to them (Jesus is risen and go to Galilee)
– Mark 16:1-8 – angel, trembling and astonishment had gripped them and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid
– Luke 24:1-12 – not one angel, but two angels, no appearance of Jesus to either Mary, they left and told the Eleven and the rest
– *John 20:1-18 – no angel, as soon as Mary saw the empty tomb, she went only to Peter and John (not the Eleven) and then went back to the tomb a second time; during second visit, she first saw 2 angels, then Jesus appeared
Second Post-Resurrection Saying – Greetings… Don’t be afraid.
Appeared to: Mary Magdalene (and Mary, the mother of James)
– Matt 28:8-10 – Jesus appears to both Mary Magdelene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, then they relay a message to disciples to go to Galilee
– Mark 16:9-11 – Jesus appears only to Mary Magdelene
Third Post-Resurrection Saying – What are you so concerned about?
Appeared to: Cleopas and 1 other disciple on the road to Emmaus
– they tell the Eleven (Luke 24:13-34)
Fourth Post-Resurrection Saying – Peace be with you
Appeared to: the Eleven + Thomas
– Luke 24:33-43 – the Eleven are mentioned as a group – “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see”
– John 20:19-29 – Thomas was not there when Jesus appeared to the Eleven earlier; so disciples were all claiming to have seen the risen Lord; doubting Thomas – unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it; Jesus appears to disciples AND this time Thomas a week later – “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Fifth Post-Resurrection Saying – Go into the world
Appeared to: the Eleven – obeyed and went to Galilee and they received the Great Commission
– Matt 28:16-20 – most famous account, w/ no mention of HS
– Mark 16:15-18 – no direct mention of the HS, but “signs” were promised (ability to cast out demons and heal, among others)
– Luke 24:45-49 – wait for HS
– John 20:21-23 – If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven; HS was breathed into them by Jesus
– John 21:17-19 – Great Commission shown by Peter’s reinstatement – feed my sheep, follow me
Sixth Post-Resurrection Saying – Have you caught any fish?
Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, sons of Zebedee, 2 other disciples – fishing off the shore of Galilee (spotlight clearly on Peter)
– John 21:1-23 – reminiscent of first calling, fishers of men
Seventh Word – Wait for the gift
Appeared to: the Eleven in Jerusalem
– Luke 24:45-49 – stay in the city until you are clothed with power on high
– Acts 1:1-11 – receive power when the HS has come upon you, then you will be my witnesses
You will see that there are 7 post-resurrection sayings and each saying can be mapped to one of five appearances.
The first two sayings correspond to Mary Magdalene and possibly to Mary, the mother of James.
The third saying corresponds to Cleopas and the other unnamed disciple on the road to Emmaus.
The fourth saying corresponds to the first appearance to Eleven disciples followed by a conversation between the risen Christ and Thomas.
The fifth saying corresponds to an appearance to the Eleven when they were given the Great Commission.
The sixth saying corresponds to Peter’s reinstatement.
And the seventh saying corresponds to the Eleven as they are gathered in Jerusalem and waiting for the Holy Spirit.
On more careful investigation, you’ll notice there are a quite a few discrepancies in each gospel’s recounting of these appearances. And these discrepancies might be a cause for concern. If they can’t get their facts straight, then maybe this whole thing about the resurrection is one big hoax.