SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2011
THE RISEN LORD APPEARS TO MANY
The story of the Resurrection is one that is arguably the triumph of good over evil. Necessarily the empty tomb is a further historical proof that Jesus actually rose again.
First, He showed Himself to Mary of Magdala, and said: ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the further. Go instead to my brother and tell them, I am returning to my father and your father, to my God and your God’ Jn. 20v17. Mary was excited and said to the disciples: ‘I have seen the Lord’. Jn. 20v18(b). The impossibility had become possible.
On the evening of that first day of the week Jesus appeared also to his disciples ‘…Jesus came and stood among them and said peace be with you…he showed them His hands and side. The disciples were over joyed they saw the Lord’ Jn. 20v19-20. Jesus speaking peace to the troubled disciples to reassure them of the power of God.
Unfortunately, one person was absent when the risen Lord showed Himself. He was Thomas; so often remembered as ‘Doubting Thomas’. Yet, we don’t know why Thomas was absent the first time Jesus appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection. But he was reluctant to believe their witness to Christ’s resurrection. Not even 10 friends could change his mind. It was this doubting Thomas that the risen Lord said ‘…put your finger here, see my hands, reach out your hand and put into my side. Stop doubting and believe’ Jn. 20v27. This is a good message to believers of today, don’t settle into doubts, but move on from them to decision and belief.
Again, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus chose to reveal Himself to two of his disciples: ‘Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight’. Lk. 24v31.
The joy of the two disciples knew no bounds, they did fourteen miles. First from Jerusalem to Emmaus seven miles and back to Jerusalem another seven miles. For the joy of the risen Lord was too much. On return they told the eleven gathered together ‘…it is true. The Lord has risen…’ Lk. 24v33.
Jesus further showed Himself to His disciples as demonstrated in the eating of broiled fish in their presence. ‘They gave Him a piece of boiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence’ Lk. 24v42-43. He took time to expound the scriptures as He could and assured them of the gift of the Holy Spirit if they remain in Jerusalem.
It is a thing of joy for the risen Lord appeared to many as a further testament of what God did to save the human race. Truly the first Adam failed, but the second Adam did not and today sits at the right hand side of God.
The worry to a believer in Nigeria is: if the risen Jesus appears to Nigeria and Nigerians how will He see them? In the face of bombings, killings, post election violence will Nigeria and Nigerians hear the risen Saviour say ‘peace be unto you’?
We live in a dangerous period of our lives, life gradually is returning to a brutish state of life.
However, it is our prayer that the power of the resurrection and the risen Lord will help to keep us on the paths of moral rectitude. We need a new Nigeria where everything should work. The presence of Jesus will give life to our nation: politically, socially economically and educationally.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre,