Summary: What did Yeshua (Jesus) do during the 40 days between his resurrection and ascension? This period becomes critical for the authenticity of his claims.
1. 1 Corinthians 15.3-11
2. About 10 years ago, during a Homicide trial in Nassau County in the state of New York, the prosecution was examining their witness on the stand. In his testimony, the witness stated that he saw the victim lying on the ground, obviously dead.
When the prosecution had finished, the defense lawyer rose to his feet intent on undermining the credibility of the witness; and conducted the following cross-examination:
"Sir, are you a doctor?"
"No," replied the witness.
"Well, are you a paramedic?"
"No, I’m not," the witness stated.
"Have you ever gone to medical school?"
"Never," was the answer.
"Then tell me, sir, how do you know that the victim was indeed dead?"
"Well," responded the witness, "I went to his funeral."
APPLY: In every Crime Scene Investigation, it’s hard to beat the value of eyewitnesses
3. So Far we have seen:
a. Lamb Selection Day – “Palm Sunday”/”Triumphal Entry”/1 Week before resurrection
b. Lamb Sacrifice Day – Passover
c. Our Lamb’s Burial – Feast of Unleavened Bread
d. Lamb’s Resurrection – Feast of Firstfruits
e. 50 Days to Shavuot/Pentecost
4. Post-Resurrection Yeshua (Jesus) to His Apostles – 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. Acts 1.3
I. Yeshua’s (Jesus’) Formidable Witnesses
During the WWII the US Army was forced to retreat from the Philippines. Some of their soldiers were left behind, and became prisoners of the Japanese. The men called themselves "ghosts", souls unseen by their nation, and were forced on the infamous Bataan Death March in which many would die by brutality, disease, or lack of water, etc.
Those who made it through the march spent the next three years in a prisoner-of-war camp. By early 1945, 513 men were still alive at the Cabanatuan prison camp, but they were giving up hope. The US Army was on its way back, but the POW’s had heard the frightening news that prisoners were being executed as the Japanese retreated from the advancing U.S. Army. Their wavering hope was however met by one of the most magnificent rescues of wartime history. In an astonishing feat 120 US Army soldiers and 200 Filipino guerrillas outflanked 8000 Japanese soldiers to rescue the POW’s.
Alvie Robbins was one of the rescuers. He described how he found a prisoner muttering in a darkened corner of his barracks, tears coursing down his face. "I thought we’d been forgotten," the prisoner said. "No, you’re not forgotten," Robbins said softly. "You’re heroes. We’ve come for you."
Often in life we can start to give up hope, to feel that God has forgotten us, abandoned us to dark and hurtful experiences, but the cross of Christ reminds us, "No, you’re not forgotten" and the resurrection gives us the assurance that someday we too will see our rescuer face to face and be liberated from the distresses of this life. When he returns we too will hear him say, "I’ve come for you."
A. The Significance of Witnesses –
1. In establishing a Truthful Situation
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. Matthew 18.15-16
CF Deuteronomy 19.15: 15 “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.
2. Yeshua even used TWO Parables to establish the truth of some of his teachings
B. The Sacred Scriptures as Witnesses –1 Corinthians 15.3-4
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2. OT scriptures produced faith in believers of Yeshua (Jesus) – Acts 8, etc.
C. The Sanctified Saints as Witnesses – 1 Corinthians 15.5-8
1. References of Jesus’ appearances after His resurrection:
1. TO MARY MAGDALENE AT THE TOMB – JOHN.20:11-17
2. TO THE OTHER WOMEN RETURNING TO THE TOMB – MT.28:9-10