Summary: Part of an adult Sunday school series on the Person of Christ.
Luke wrote in the opening of the book of Acts Jesus’ knew He had risen because of “many infallible proofs.”
"To whom [the apostles] he [Jesus] shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3).
Thomas Walker writes in his commentary on Acts:
"The word “proof” is an unusual one, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. It denotes ’a sure sign or token,’ ’a positive proof manifest to the senses.’ Christ gave to His disciples such manifest proofs of His resurrection by look, tone, gesture, act, as to leave no room for uncertainty. He spoke with them, ate with them, walked with them, shewed them the scars in His hands and His side. They had convincing evidence by sight, touch, and hearing. The resurrection was placed for ever beyond the reach of reasonable doubt, and necessarily so, for if Christ be not raised our faith and hope are vain." - The Acts of the Apostles (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), p. 5.
1. The eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ.
The order of appearances between Christ’s resurrection and ascension seems to be as follows:
(b) To Peter, before the evening of the day of the resurrection, but under circumstances of which we have no details (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5).
(d) To the ten apostles, Thomas being absent, together with others whose names are not given on the evening of the day of the resurrection at their evening meal (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25; 1 Cor. 15:5).
(f) To several of the disciples at the Sea of Galilee, while they were fishing (John 21:1-24);
(g) To the apostles and more than 500 brethren and James, the Lord’s half brother, on an appointed mountain in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6-7);
John R. Rice makes this point:
"A man could be stoned in the Old Testament under the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deut. 17:6; Num. 35:30). A jury of twelve men can now condemn a man to the electric chair. Practically every action of the Supreme Court of the United States, every decision, is based on lesser evidence that the resurrection of which literally hundreds of people were eyewitnesses. No wonder Jesus said that those who did not believe in His resurrection according to the Scriptures were “fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25)." - Filled With the Spirit (Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1969), p. 34.