Life Goes On…After Resurrection (My Redeemer Lives 7:1)

It confounded me when I was a young adult, someone newly interested in my Bible, trying to find the beginning and the end of it.

I could find the first page of Genesis and the last page of Revelation (sort of), but I didn’t understand how the middle fit. I didn’t get why so much happened before Jesus came and why so much happened after Jesus rose.

A whole new level of confounding came in when I would flip to the end of the Gospels and expect to find the resurrection. It seemed like every Gospel should clearly begin with Mary’s pregnancy or Jesus’ birth and end with an empty tomb and an angel proclaiming,

“He is risen!”

to which the disciples responded, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

The End.

Tidy.

Instead, when we open the Gospel accounts we actually find more to the story.

We find a whole lot of life…after the Resurrection.

Feel free to open your Bibles to the Gospels with me as we go through an overview of the final chapters of each one — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — to see all the Life.

Matthew keeps it pretty neat. In the last chapter of Matthew, Matthew 28, we find a brief resurrection narrative witness. Then we get a little bit more in the form of an interchange between the Romans guards, who witnessed the resurrection reality that was Jesus of Nazareth, and the Jewish leaders who paid them to spread a lie that the disciples stole the body to make it look like resurrection. (Wow. Just wow.) Then Matthew also shares an account of the disciples receiving the Great Commission from the Risen Christ. So, it doesn’t really end with the resurrection at all. It concludes with a mountaintop, eleven guys worshiping, and the Resurrected Jesus teaching.

Mark, who I like to call the fast-forward Gospel writer, doesn’t end with the resurrection either even though He likes to keep things relatively short and succinct. Mark’s final chapter, Mark 16, has the account of Christ’s resurrection, actually two accounts of Christ’s resurrection, then adds a very brief, two-verse, account of Jesus’ appearance to two disciples in particular, and his own witness of the Great Commission.

Luke does not disappoint with his last chapter, Luke 24, dedicated to Christ’s resurrection followed by the witness of the account of the Risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appearing yet again to teach His disciples, and the Ascension, when Jesus returns to heaven. If you didn’t have the crucifixion and death of Jesus in Luke 23 preceding, these accounts would look a whole lot like life as usual.

We can’t forget John, the beloved disciple. John blesses us with not one chapter of post-resurrection witness, but two. John 20 holds two accounts of the resurrection itself, followed by Jesus’ tender interactions with Thomas and His disciples, a proclamation that Jesus did way too much to even try to write down, and then John continues into John 21 with what I lovingly like to think of as “Life’s a Beach with Jesus!”

John ends his gospel with one of the verses that makes me particularly fond of him, John 21:25 —

 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

John wants to assure us that this isn’t the whole story, again. John is likely referring to the entirety of Jesus’ time here on earth, but because he repeats it twice, earlier in John 20:30-31 and here in John 21:25, I am prone to believe that he is also applying this to the Resurrected Jesus.

If life goes on after Jesus’ resurrection, with Jesus’ presence here on this earth, then what was He doing? Life goes on…but what for?

Jesus was eating.

There is a lot of eating after the resurrection if you ask me. Maybe I notice it because I like food, but there are definitely fish on the beach and breaking bread after walking to Emmaus.

Fun fact: there are sects of people who believe that Jesus didn’t eat, and some who don’t even believe He was in a physical body after the resurrection.

Not a fun fact: Do not let people steal your hope like that! This is what happens when we chip away at the Gospel and make it into what we want to hear. The Bible tells us that there is a feast with our Savior to come like we cannot even begin to imagine. The disciples had a foretaste of this during those 40 days, and we get a foretaste of it every time we take Communion at His altar together. Why would we want to miss the hope of a Savior who eats with us?

By Jesus eating with His disciples, and with us at the table of His Supper, we are filled with Hope that God has a plan for us and a big plan written with eternity in mind.

Life goes on and eating is part of life…after the Resurrection.

Jesus was teaching and talking.

The disciples were listening. I’m guessing they were so hungry for one more day with the Lord after they “lost” Him that they could hardly get enough.

We have the opportunity to gather around His Word too! Let us be hungry for it, for one more day in the presence of what He has to share with us. Let’s run to worship to learn and be taught. Let’s get in Bible study and grow through hard conversations and reminders of life and hope. Let’s go and teach and talk and have those same hard conversations in unconventional places to witness His Word to this world.

Life goes on and His Word goes out…after the Resurrection.

Jesus witnesses and gives witness.

Jesus witnesses to the disciples the truth of Who He is and what God is doing through Him. He tells the disciples what happened at points x, y, and z through the prophecies of the Old Testament to the fulfilling of them in the New Testament (Luke 24:27). He witnesses to them about love and about grace and what those things really are according to His Word and His Sacrifice. He prepares the disciples for what is to come for them and encourages, encourages, and encourages. He spends time with them, teaches, and shares more conversation with them, giving them more to share of His life-giving Spirit.

Life goes on, ministry goes on…after the Resurrection.

We remember the words of John again from John 21:25 —

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

The world can’t hold Him, our Savior Jesus—isn’t that glorious! But yet, we are each witnesses to all He does in this life that goes on in our time and place…after the Resurrection.

You can download this Scripture card and one for every day of the week at PureJoyCreative.com.

Don’t forget this week’s Bible margin to help you reflect as you study.

Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts and insights in the comments here and on social media.

Catch the week seven video here:

Waking, Sleeping, and Sleepwalking

Downloadable Video Viewer Guide