...appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God."—Acts 1:3 ESV
What happened between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension?
He walked this earth for 40 more days. He showed the world that He lived again! But that is not all.
He appeared to the disciples on several occasions and prepared them to proclaim the good news. He showed them that He indeed was God. He displayed His wounds for “doubting Thomas” to put his finger into them. He simply appeared within locked rooms in their midst. On another occasion reported in 1 Corinthians 15:6, He appeared to over 500 of the brethren at one time. He sought out and rehabilitated Peter who denied Him three times; publicly asked him to declare his love for Him three times. He went on to instruct Peter to feed and take care of His “flock”. And of course He did not stop teaching the disciples, showing them how He had fulfilled the Old Testament scriptures about Himself.
It is interesting to note in those forty days, the Sanhedrin and the Jewish religious authorities were conspicuously silent. They had called Jesus a blasphemer, and claimed that His miracles were of the devil, but they were silent and did not dispute Jesus’ resurrected presence in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas in all this time!
The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus referred to it, as did other writers. Two generations later, the writer Eusebius interviewed many people who had known people who saw Jesus during those days, told of miracles, even cited sermons and wrote letters on the risen Jesus. But the Jewish religious leaders were dead silent.
During that time, Jesus gave the disciples the “Great Commission”. He told them to go into all the world to preach the Good News and make disciples of all nations. He also instructed them to wait together in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to empower them.
The last thing Jesus said to the disciples was, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. (Acts 1: 8-9)
In the post-resurrection era (i.e., NOW!), I believe this is what is appointed for us to do. I think we have to attend to it with all haste and diligence.
Pastor Robert Chew